I’m a passable cook. I can knit simple jumpers. I’ve written some scripts and a couple of novels. And … no, that’s about it. Sum total of my skills. So I’m always in awe of those marvellously talented creatures who are brilliant at lots of things.
Such a one is Stevyn Colgan, my writing stable mate at Unbound. Not content with writing both novels and non-fiction – his latest (tenth if I’ve counted right) is a comedy called Cockerings – he’s a marvellous artist, working in several different media, not to mention cook, comedian, podcaster and much more. He’s also probably built a time machine, solved the Northern Ireland protocol problem, and invented a thing that means you can read your phone even when the screen’s in full sun for all I know.
During the pandemic, Stevyn turned his hand to creating monsters. I came face to face with one of his fabulous creations at the very excellent Grayson Perry Art Club Exhibition at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. The Bristol monster is part of Stevyn’s community lockdown installation, The Monster Zoo, aimed at providing local children with a fun and creative activity, when so many other avenues were closed to them. Grayson Perry liked the idea so much, he put it in his exhibition.
If you’re in the Bristol area, I urge you to go along and see this collection of witty and thought-provoking exhibits, made more poignant because they came about during the worst days of lockdown. Here’s a selection from the eclectic mix.
I’ll stick to my knitting.
Monster escaped from the Zoo, doing its thing in Bristol Museum.
Wipe your feet on this. Much more useful than an actual ticket during lockdown
Dishing out some home truths