Here’s Tade Thompson:
“I have a ritual for refreshing.
1. Visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London (or sometimes the British Museum, it varies). Visual imagery unclogs the pipes for me.
2. Immediately after the visit I get a massive sheet of paper (A1 or A2) and spill either Indian Ink or thinned acrylic paint in Pollockesque splashes which may transmogrify into doodles or sentences.
3. The next stage is to leaf through the complete works of Shakespeare and read random passages out loud. Sometimes I just copy out the Shakespeare and I’ll start writing my own stuff immediately after.
It never fails.”
Living in Canberra, I’m lucky to have access to the Art Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the War Memorial and the National Library. I was at the Library yesterday, for the closure of the Year of Reading, which including a wonderful speech by our Governer General, Quentin Bryce. She described reading to her grandchildren; her sitting in large armchair, the children spilling all over her. The whole audience sighed with delight!
I took the chance while there to visit the Manuscript Room, and gain access to some papers from 1827. Wow. I didn’t have time to (attempt to) read all the letters and ‘orders for boots’ , so will go back tomorrow. But to be able to see the handwriting of a person I’m researching is so inspiring. It brings that person to life.