AWW! (Artists Who Write)
May 30, 2021
Being an Artist who Writes
How viable is it to be an artist who writes? What differences are there between writing and painting? Or between writing and performing? How does practicing one artform affect another?
Professional artists face these questions every day. Join the founder of the Bellingen writers festival Brian Purcell in conversation with Richard Tipping, Liz (Belanjee) Cameron, Helen Hopcroft, and Barry Maitland, an eclectic mix of successful artists who write.
The Artists who Write
Brian Purcell graduated with an MA in Writing from Sydney’s UTS in 2001, specialising in the novel. He has been publishing poetry for forty years. Apart from being an award-winning poet, he is also a painter, and was the singer/lyricist for the band Distant Locust, which released records and toured Europe in the nineties. He was the founder and for many years the coordinator of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival.
Richard Tipping is a widely-published poet and makes artworks out of his own poetry. An academic, Richard holds three degrees and a doctorate. Since 1979, Richard has made himself well known internationally for his altered sign designs. In public, Richard’s installations of neon lights, granite and steel have been viewed by thousands.
Since 2018, Liz (Belanjee) Cameron, Professor of Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University, has written numerous research papers on art and psychology. As an artist, Liz uses imagery to tell stories. Bangawarra Naa, her latest collection, aims to improve Aboriginal social and individual health.
An author and academic, Helen Hopcroft recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing. From May 2017 until May 2018, Helen lived as Marie Antoinette twenty-four seven, encouraging Maitland to see itself as a cultural landmark. All her costumes were historically accurate and crowd funded. Last year, she produced a short documentary with Julien Poulsen, Road to Tibooburra. In March 2021, Helen’s stage show Mad Bitches Inc. will debut at the Newcastle Fringe Festival.
Barry Maitland wrote his first crime fiction novel , The Marx Sisters, in 1994. Since then, he has written sixteen crime fiction books. In 2014, he wrote the first book in the Belltree trilogy, Crucifixion Creek, his first series set in Australia. As an artist, Barry is inspired by the natural landscape of Australia. In 2016, his solo exhibition The Forest Floor was on display at MRAG.