Sally Kindberg’s poetic dust

Listen to how I acquired an early sample for my ongoing Museum of Dust collection from a house which was once the London lodging house of two nineteenth century French poets

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Sally Kindberg’s notebooks (more of them)

Pages from a few of my many notebooks in the last year.  I use my notebooks as a visual diary, a nursery for new ideas or notes for work in progress.

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Sally Kindberg’s workshop this summer at Swedenborg House

Drawing! With music! This summer I’ll be joined by two acclaimed musicians at my House of Dreams workshop held in Swedenborg House.  Inspired by tales of 18th century writer, philosopher, scientist and inventor Emanuel Swedenborg and his summer house, you’ll be encouraged to add images of your stories/inventions etc to your own cut-out-and-fold house and its garden (see rough template above).  As we draw, the musicians will play our stories, or you may be inspired to draw them and their music! This fun workshop will take place in late July 2022, more information soon.

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Sally Kindberg’s latest additions to her Museum of Dust

Dust from the Sahara blew into London last week. I managed to add a tiny amount to my Museum of Dust despite a sneezing fit, which added desert particles to the Kindbergian atmosphere.  More about the collection here.

Today I added another item to my Museum … a tiny envelope of dust collected in 2019 which I found between the pages of one of my many notebooks. I was lucky enough to spend a day in the wondrous workshop of the House of Automata in 2019, where amongst other intriguing items, an automaton of the music hall performer Little Tich (famous for his Big Boot Dance) was being restored.  A delicate operation was under way to replace his hair and add new eyelids.   Here is another connection to Little Tich.



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Sally Kindberg’s pinboards and printed ephemera collages etc

After seeing some of my pinboard displays,  a colleague commissioned me to make two collages for presents for two sisters. It was a lovely way to share some of my extensive collections of printed ephemera, objects and badges etc as well as copies of images from my own work. More about pinboards here.  Contact me if you’d like to order your own unique collage.

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Sally Kindberg and Ukraine rally

Crowds at the Ukraine rally and afterwards at the National Gallery in London.

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Sally Kindberg’s ‘Stranger’, a work in progress – not a children’s book this time

Given this morning’s news of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, this rough frame from my current work in progress – a comic strip mystery memoir – sadly seems very a propos.  It illustrates an extract from a ten year correspondence to and from Sweden, and refers to the 1940 invasion of Estonia by Russia, which was followed by deportations.  It’s only part of my story, so you’ll have to wait to find out more until after I’ve finished the book, hopefully before World War Three.  More shocking news about the Russian invasion today (25th February), although there’s misinformation too.  Respect to those brave enough to fight, and those Russians brave enough to protest against war.

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Sally Kindberg will talk about her work in May at Graphic Brighton

Looking forward to talking about my work, for younger audiences this time, and meeting other comic strip creators at Graphic Brighton this May. Extract from Fishboy above, and below, from a series of comic strips  for CBBC.

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Sally Kindberg and the Arthur Spooner portrait

In the early 2000s I visited my mother with my daughter and asked to see her large portrait, painted by Nottingham artist Arthur Spooner, whose painting of Goose Fair I mention in the last blogpost. This portrait, blotchy with damp, over five feet high and with rather a daunting gaze, was stored in my mother’s garage, along with a stuffed fish and an old Mini amongst other things.  She loathed the painting, which had hung over the stairwell at my grandmother’s house near Nottingham Castle.  After her death, one of my brothers took the portrait home with him.  After a particularly acrimonious quarrel, his first wife slashed it.  I think my mother probably wouldn’t have cared that much, but I’m glad I took this photo before it was destroyed.  I’m not sure how much my mother rode, but know she was actively anti hunting when she lived in Devon.  The large rockery at her home in Nottingham’s Park was, to her neighbours’ chagrin, an estate of extremely tame foxes, which later in her life she referred to as her ‘wolves’, sleek and healthy on a diet of Pedigree Chum.

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Sally Kindberg at Nottingham Goose Fair

Nottingham Goose Fair has been held annually since the 13th century, only interrupted by  plague, World Wars and the Covid pandemic.  Originally held in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, it was moved in the 1920s to the Forest Recreation Ground north of the city, where once Sherwood Forest reached the edge of the town, and where some of my mother’s relatives are buried in nearby Rock Cemetary.  Local artist Arthur Spooner painted the Fair just before it relocated to the Forest.

Whilst growing up in Nottingham, I’d walk to Goose Fair, held during the first week of October, where the atmosphere was thick with the smell of candyfloss, mushy peas, diesel and autumn fog.  We were warned not to go, it could be a dangerous place apparently, but that only added to the thrill. I loved the bustle and noise, the brightly coloured vertiginous rides, but was also intrigued by what seemed to me at the time, the exoticism of its sideshows: the Crocodile Woman, the Flea Circus, George the Gentle Giant and the painted Boxing Booth.

In 2000 whilst visiting family in Nottingham, I was lucky enough to see one of the last of  Ron Taylor’s boxing events.  An MC with slicked back hair and a microphone asked for volunteers to fight the champ.  A couple of young men offered but the MC was scathing: ‘Come back in a year or two my lads!’   I tried to persuade my companion but for some reason he was reluctant and annoyed.  We saw the show, more carefully choreographed acrobatics than a boxing bout,  and were relieved to see no one was actually hurt.  Afterwards I went behind the painted backdrops to a caravan where a light was shining, and was told by a burly woman in its doorway, Ron’s daughter I think, that Ron was unwell, but she introduced me to Ron’s grandsons, shy and charming boys. Ron came from five generations of showpeople, including his grandmother who was a boxer, and regularly brought his Excelsior Booth to Goose Fair. Sadly I never got to meet him, and he died a few years later, aged 95.


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