"Richard Blanchard's Snow Blind"
THIS debut novel, with distinctive
prose by Liverpool raised the author, Richard Blanchard, is set at a
stirring pace, with very descriptive prose, which makes it a
compelling read. One is aware from the prologue that a disastrous
situation will arise, but cunningly the out-come is not revealed
until the final chapter. The story-line involves a fortyish
copywriter obsessed by music, who has found himself due to marry
Sophie, the mother of his toddler son, on a specific date organised
by his prospective father-in-law. Indecisive and irresponsible Dan
is haplessly following someone else's path for him, despite his own
misgivings. This trait is further revealed as the stag party is
arranged. The party is originally planned Scotland by his Best Man,
Johnny, but the whole thing is high-jacked by bullying Robert, an
old College friend. The party is ill-assorted and dominated by
Robert, who changes the venue to a skiing trip to Vallee Blanche.
The inclusion of Dan's ex-flame, Juliet, who has a 16years old son,
Ethan, seems rather implausible but her addition to the party adds
to the plot, not least through her efforts to modify the
proceedings. Robert is hell bent on a lurid sexual and drink fuelled
week which is sadly at odds with skiing. He also grossly
over exaggerates his abilities on the slopes, with dire
This novel is seemingly well researched, but at many points the
question as to how this ill assorted group came to be together in
the first place, and their conceding the leadership to Robert,
caused doubt. Would men really have stuck to their almost
stereotypical performance throughout? However the disconcerting
conclusion on the interplay of these stag party characters is the
awful realisation of just how far people, especially men, can be
goaded, beguiled and bullied into more and more ludicrous and
dangerous situations just by dint of wanting to be:- "one of
the gang." The skilful exaggeration of the weakness of the various
characters adds insight to the many real life situations when we
ask:- "How could this have possibly happened?" This book is a
Title:- Snow Blind.
Written by:- Richard Blanchard.
Published by:- Troubador Publishing Ltd., 9, Priory Business Park,
Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire, LE8 0RX, UK.
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Tate into a Super Sculpture - Tate Liverpool
THIS Easter, families are
invited to visit Tate Liverpool and unleash their creative potential
with Super Sculptures, a fun filled free workshop for the whole
The free drop-in workshop will
take place over the Easter holidays on:- Wednesday, 9 April;
Saturday, 12 April, Wednesday, 16 April, Thursday, 17 April,
Saturday, 19 April and Monday, 21 April 2014, between:- 13.30 to
16.30; within Tate Liverpool's family space Art Dock.
Using the works on display in DLA Piper Series - Constellations as
inspiration, families can dive into the world of form and shape and
transform themselves into a super sculpture.
Working with artist Kevin Hunt, families will explore the artworks
in DLA Piper Series - Constellations to find interesting shapes,
patterns and forms within these works. After finding inspiration
from artists including Picasso, Matisse and Pollock, families will
then go back to family space Art Dock and use a variety of everyday
materials such as card, paper, fabric and foam to create their very
Once the costumes are ready and visitors have transformed into a
super sculpture, they will return to the gallery to find the
artworks that inspired their creative costumes. Families can then
reflect on how an artwork feels and respond with a pose or
performance to mimic their chosen artwork.
Debbie Goldsmith, Early Years and Families team, Tate Liverpool
said:- "This hands on free Easter holiday activity is a
fantastic opportunity for families to explore the gallery and
respond to the artworks in a creative way. Super Sculptures is an
activity which everyone can enjoy and have fun creating some amazing
DLA Piper Series - Constellations features more than one hundred
works, many never seen before at Tate Liverpool and takes a fresh
look at the links between artworks across time and location of
origin. Constellations examines the role of nine 'trigger'
displayed within groups or 'constellations' of other artworks from
many periods in art history. Highlights include Pablo Picasso's Bowl
of Fruit, Violin and Bottle 1914, Marina Abramovic's Rhythm 0 1974
and The Inattentive Reader 1919 by Henri Matisse.
Super Sculputres Easter
holiday family activity at Tate Liverpool, inspired by works in DLA
Piper Series - Constellations © Tate Liverpool.