If there is an
dreams and where you want to be, if you’ve
no idea how to construct
a bridge to cross it, try nursing fantasy.
Contrive your destiny, become
inventor of remarkable gardens, astounding
spaces and spectacular installations. These things change lives.
a conjuror, play
illusions, explore magnificent vistas and seduce
visitors to enter. Make a world where
places neither begin nor end.
sitting quietly, gazing
at your garden, shedding
a tear or two.
The Nature of Things - A Design Narrative Peter Stickland 2012
The subject of this narrative is the creative process. The story concerns a young Chinese graduate who has studied in London. On the eve of her graduation ceremony she learns something important about her abilities. It is a vague hint of the way her creative life might develop, but many years must pass before she can practice her skills and express her understanding. The book is published with facing pages in English and Chinese. “The Nature of Things is not simply a novel but a celebration of the creative process. Typically, Stickland blurs the lines between reality and fiction and creates a meta-fictive guide to challenge the written narrative by the production of a part-autobiographical and imagined reality. The Nature of Things uses the fictitious world to explain a process which cannot be explained by conventional instruction." Lai Fun Lee
COMEDY - Two radio plays by Peter Stickland. Available only on kindle.
The two plays, Frank and Moustique go boating and Frank and Moustique get a life, follow the long British tradition
of radio repartee which goes nowhere in particular. The two characters that
appear in both plays are under vivid misapprehensions – in the first they
believe they are improvising a performance and in the second that they are in
the process of earning a living. The plays have a ludicrous plot with surreal
humour, puns, catch phrases and an array of bizarre sound effects.
The play Frank and Moustique go boating can be heard by following this link.
Even as a great fish swims along the two banks of a river, first along
the Eastern bank and then the Western bank, in the same way our Spirit moves
along beside our two dwellings; this waking world and the land of sleep and
In the spring of 2009 I was in Rome for three
months. It left its mark on the automatic drawing I did
during my stay in the city. Amikam
Toren One evening Amikam showed me his Rome Drawings and I envisaged a book with an automatic text to accompany each drawing. In Metamorphos, Ovid describes
the portents of Caesars’ assassination. I selected a few lines from Ovid's Metamorphosis and edited it seventy
breath of Pan resonates across the bright blue oceans, filling the air with a
sweet music that multiplies with endless variations from the mountainous
terrains to the boundless deserts.
Psyche grows miraculously tall and sings; her
magical voice reverberating across continents, resounding through a million
hearts. All who hear the echoing sounds speak of a new dawn.
Rainforest Reveries by Christine Fasse, Peter Stickland and David Toop 2011
Awakening slowly in morning shadows, Céline senses what might now ripen and grow within her. The earth is ringing out. By obscure transitions, affirming visions in the girl’s self-determining mind are revealing new depths to her evolving character. The nameless hour has arrived, that mesmerizing, eternal hour, when children cease to look vaguely at the sky.
From the edge of the floor by Peter Stickland 2011 in collaboration with Jenny Nolan
Happy go lucky Joe trusts cheerfully to luck and never worries about the future. In ancient cosmology and late adolescence, to be lucky is to be wise. Mostly, Joe’s friends imagine his luck is something akin to being foolhardy. Cinema critic, theorist of the French ‘New Wave,’ Joe loves being with those students who reign supreme in optimism, invent new theories with ease and conjure radical re-appraisals of the world with relaxed certainty. .
Frank and Moustique go boating; a play for radio by Peter Stickland 2011
This book includes 26 drawings and comes with a free CD. The play is performed by Peter Stickland and Christine Fasse. Sound by David Cunningham.
Act 1. Life without the others; a disused dairy in Kentish Town. Act 2. Before the parachute opens; a piece of waste ground in Hackney. Act 3. A rahapsody of impertinence; a squat in St. John's Wood. Act 4. Paddling in public; a ship's chandlers in Wapping.
A dying aunt describes to her niece the extraordinary influence a group of dancers had on her life. The dancers are the women of the Ouled Nail, a nomadic tribe from the Sahara Desert. The niece, Nancy Etheridge, a young Edwardian woman, decides to go in search of the dancers. Captain Lehuraux, an Indigenous Affairs Officer in the French Army, agrees to meet her in Algiers. He becomes her guide and teacher as they travel over the High Plateau to the Ouled Nail Mountains.
Deserted Memory Dominique and Christine Fasse 2010
The images in this book give birth to a story and
though it is curiously familiar, the thread of it seems to get tangled
or lost. The poems tell us that this story has happened once or several
times and may even happen again. If history repeats itself what pasts
are still to come? The future may not be completely unknown to us.
Dido's Lament or The Willing Librettitst by Peter Stickland 2009
Presented with the task of creating an opera, composer and librettist decide to adapt that part of Virgil's Aeneid that describes the tragic separation of the lovers, Dido and Aeneas. The year is 1680, the composer is Henry Purcell and the willing librettist is Nahum Tate. This novel gives expression to their remarkable talents, their creative friendship and the passions that are the source of their inspiration.
This is revised edition of an earlier book. Clare Carolan collaborated on this version.
Mairi's Wedding by Andrew Hendry by Peter Stickland 2009
In this fairy tale, where most things seem possible, the use of quotes from the Scottish author, Neil Munro, causes the fictive and the real to overlap. Artifice and reality are further conflated by the existence of a fictional book within the real book. Three of the characters are writing portraits of the guests as a wedding present for Mairi and each of them has a particular ore-occupation; for one it's character, for another its structure and for a third it's the lyricism of Neil Munro's language. The location of this romance could be anywhere in Western Scotland and while the characters are contemporary they could also be generations old. History and landscape, poetry and music, innocence and love, all these are woven together to form a web as delicate as gossamer.
Dido’s Lament by Peter Stickland 2008 -
Dido’s Lament is a narrative account of how the opera Dido and Aeneas was created. It is set in Restoration London, the 1680’s, where Henry Purcell and Nahum Tate are collaborating on the composition of the opera. They are adapting Virgil’s tragic love story, Dido and Aeneas, a subject that connects with their own ambitions for love. This dramatic tale gives expression to their remarkable talents, their creative friendship and the passions that are the source of their inspiration.
This book was re-edited with Clare Carolan and republished as Dido's Lament or the Willing Librettist
Loving - The tales of Jack and Adelia by Peter Stickland 2008
Jack, a stage and screen performer treats us to accounts of romantic events that occur while he is immersed in his performances. Adelia is a journalist and a writer and the events she describes mirror her preoccupation with the game of consequences. With Jack the reader inhabits a place that lies somewhere between the written page and the auditorium. With Adelia the reader discovers a place somewhere between life and fiction.
Dreaming in Public by Peter Stickland. Published 2004 by Futures Publications The chronology of these tales is full of playful narrative devices that make this a book of many surprises. The thread that ties these stories together is a delicate web of associations, but it bonds us beautifully to the highly charged emotional world that its protagonist inhabits.
The Book of the Play by Peter Stickland. Published 2002 by gf2 Gallery "I don't get it. he got what he got by seeing to it. See what I've got? What do I see? Will I get to see you? Is getting you what I get? Will you see to it? Will I see? He got what I got. I don't see you. I don't get to see what she saw in him. She saw, she saw. Getting what you get by seeing what you see and getting it, is getting it."
A Split Second of Paradise - the work of Julian Maynard Smith. Published 2008 by Station House
Failing the attempt at flight makes the desire for freedom from gravity the subject and so by accident we stumbled into the aim of drama, which is to give a treatment of the unachievable, as opposed to that of art, which is to make actual the previously unachieved. And thus we discovered our position between two stools.
Homage to Morandi by The Theatre of Mistakes. Published 2006 by Grey Suit Editions.
This seminal piece of performance art, created in 1980, was inspired by the still lives of Giorgio Morandi. It was sensed that certain of the Italian artist's arrangements of little boxes, vases and containers might be alluding to family groups posing for the camera. The Theatre of Mistakes scaled up these boxes and containers to larger household items (suitcases, chairs and wardrobes) that seemed more appropriate to the stage.
Goingby The Theatre of Mistakes. Published 2007 by Grey Suit Editions.
Going is a five-act performance. In it, the performers have to learn all the parts, while trying to be each other rather than presuming to enact characters. It is a fugue put together out of the mannerisms of departure. It concerns going, or attempting to go when the participants are bound together as closely as the strands of a knotted ring. Each weaves a role identical to that of the others in different moments of the same role. Price £10.00+pp