The four women remember Brontës with multi-site artwork commissioned by Bradford Lit Fest
BY ANGIE NEEDHAM
Writers Carol Ann Duffy and Jackie Kay, along with musician Kate Bush, and novelist Jeanette Winterson, are to commemorate the Brontë sisters with a public art piece at Bradford Literature Festival.
The permanent, multi-site artwork was commissioned by the Bradford Literature Festival and will be unveiled on 7 July 2018.
The Brontë Stones project features four new, original works of writing engraved onto stones in different locations connecting the Brontë sisters’ birthplace in Thornton and the Brontë family parsonage, now known as the Brontë Parsonage Museum, at Haworth.
“It’s been a real pleasure working on the Brontë Stones project,” said author Jackie Kay. “The Brontës are part of the literary landscape of this country.
“The stones are exciting in that they will make the past new again, opening up along the way with new paths for different readers to follow.”
Jeanette Winterson, speaking about the Brontës, added: “When I was growing up in Lancashire and roaming the hills in the rain, and feeling both passionate and misunderstood (like all teenagers, well, maybe some have better weather), I read the Brontës and felt their spirit stand by me.
“For me, reading is about connection – and connection that works across time too. Good books live in the present, regardless of when they were written.
“The Brontës showed me that hearts beat like mine, that the struggle to know who you are happens across time and generations, and gender. They showed me that writing needs the power of the personal behind it – but that somehow the story one person tells has to become a story many people can claim as their own.
“And the Brontës are women. As a woman I needed those ancestors, those guides. I still do.”
The bicentenary of Emily Brontë will also be celebrated along with the unveiling at Bradford Literature Festival in a special launch event titled, The Brontë Stones: Meet the Writers.
Taking place at Bradford’s historic Midland Hotel, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and Jeanette Winterson will also be in attendance, presenting the first official readings of their new work.
Kitty Wright, Executive Director of the Brontë Society added: “We are thrilled to be playing a part in this exciting project and are delighted that the Anne Stone will be situated in the grounds of the Parsonage, where Anne spent almost all of her life.
“Haworth and the Yorkshire landscape are of immense significance to the Brontë story and we are sure local residents and visitors will enjoy making their way along the Brontë Stone trail for years to come.”
Following its inauguration at this year’s festival, the artwork and walk will remain permanently for members of the public to undertake in futures to come. Lovely stuff.
Tickets for both the launch are now on public sale at www.bradfordlitfest.co.uk, #BradfordLitFest.
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