Wish You Were Here…

My old friend, Budapest-based Scottish painter JIm Urquhart at an exhibition of his swimming pool painting in Brighton this weekend.

I’ve just spent a few days at the Brighton Festival. I’m here by a sort of mistake – it’s a long story, but by wild coincidence, a good painter friend of mine from Budapest was also in Brighton this weekend – exhibiting his paintings as part of the event (note to self: I must blog about how threads of wild coincidence knit through my life, yet I can never use them in my fiction as they are just too unbelievable).

Jim Urquhart is a Scottish painter who has lived in the Hungarian capital for decades. He was actually one of the first people I met in Hungary in 1998 when I moved there first, and has remained a great friend and artistic supporter down the years. So, I was delighted by the serendipity which had us both wash up on the shores of Sussex this weekend. Great show too, Jim!

Brighton also allowed me the opportunity to catch up with another friend, the County Antrim poet and current Brighton resident, Brendan Cleary. I get great inspiration and encouragement from artists working in other art forms and meeting up with Jim and Brendan over the weekend, has also delivered all the other positives that time spent with good artists provides: discussion and progression of ideas, affirmation that art is what I am about and what I should do, reassurance that as difficult and isolating it can be to be an artist, it is also hugely rewarding. And, if you are an artist, there is nothing you can really do about it – you have to create.

I’m thanking whatever powers conspired to get me here this weekend to hang out with such creative minds. I’m all fired up and reassured. Here’s to artistic fellowship!

Brighton also allowed me to catch up with another old friend, Brighton-based Co. Antrim poet, Brendan Cleary.


About suehealy

From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022. Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer. TV Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series. Stage Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts). Radio Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. Prose Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus. View all posts by suehealy

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