Through my paintings and drawings I’ve attempted to capture moments in time and the symbolism of the everyday. By immersing myself in the act of painting and drawing, I would like to think that I’m engaged in a process of deep attention, allowing the artworks to evolve organically and often incorporating unexpected elements. Murdoch and, importantly, the Iris Murdoch community have offered me new ideas to explore, new ways to interpret and think about my own work, and also a lot of enjoyment!
This piece was performed at the University of East Anglia on the 6th December, 2014 as part of an event entitled ‘An Afternoon with Iris: Life, Thought, Writing’.
The influence and impact of Iris Murdoch’s work is increasing exponentially each year and the Iris Murdoch Review likewise seems to grow with each issue. This edition contains a wide-ranging collection of essays, reviews and reports variously connected by specific features. We begin with celebrations of Murdoch at home and abroad, then move on to America, art, philosophy and literature – specifically by women writers: a set of topics that encapsulates Murdoch’s life of working, writing and travelling.
Iris Murdoch herself visited Japan along with husband John Bayley at the request of the British Council. They stayed for around two weeks and the lecture Iris gave in Kobe that I attended took place at the Kobe Institute of St. Catherine’s on Friday 28th May 1993. This wide-ranging talk was on ‘The Modern Novel’.
Encounters with Iris Murdoch in Oxford. What has emerged from most of these memories is how vivid they are and how receptive she was to meeting with ‘ordinary’ people, not necessarily in her academic or literary spheres.
I discovered Iris Murdoch’s novels around the same time that I was becoming immersed in Powell. I had read a few in England, starting with The Bell, before my move to Japan in the mid-1980s. And so, I became a Murdochian as well as a Powellian.
Sorting through some material for my essay on Iris Murdoch’s links with Australia recently, I discovered the notes I took more than a decade ago when, towards the end of a long research trip to the UK, I drove to Oxford from Winchester to meet John and Audi Bayley.