The End is a collaborative project that explores the nature of ‘endings’. Fifteen paintings, depicting ‘the end’, by artist Nicolas Ruston will provoke fifteen short fictions by fifteen writers.
Ruston wanted to examine and interrogate the notion of ‘the end’ by exploring how a temporal art form can operate through different media and how one group of artists interprets the others’ form.
Writer and editor Ashley Stokes has commissioned and will curate the fifteen stories by fifteen writers. The resulting book entitled The End: Fifteen Endings To Fifteen Paintings, will be published by Unthank Books in April 2016.
The End will be presented as a book, art exhibitions, performances and book launches. The fifteen writers have each chosen a painting that will inspire a work of short fiction. All paintings express The End, so each story will express The End, or at least have an ending. In the series of paintings, Ruston has appropriated the look and feel of stills from movie end title sequences, borrowing from an age when it was necessary to indicate ‘The End’ prior to closing credits. The paintings are ambiguous, though genre is at times suggested through either figurative or typographic nuance.
I am thrilled to be able to say that I am one of the fifteen writers collaborating with Nicolas Ruston on this project, along with Sarah Dobbs, Jonathan Taylor, Aiden O’Reilly, Michael Crossan, David Rose, u.v.ray, Angela Readman, Gordon Collins, Ashley Stokes, Ailsa Cox, TimSykes, Zoe Lambert, Tania Hershman, and A. J. Ashworth. You can read the author bios here. It’s quite a list of short story talent and I am sure the process of writing in response to Nicolas Ruston’s art will throw up some compelling and engaging perspectives on the whole idea of endings.
You can check out all fifteen paintings on the Fifteen Paintings website. The image I selected to write about was this one:
I began the writing process by slapping the image up as my desktop background on my MacBook and on the way to discovering my story, I’ve researched the A13 (for no other reason than my painting was painting 13), referenced The Meaning of L.I.F.F., was struck by how the coats we have owned in our lives kind of mark out the (seven?) ages of (wo)man, and managed to once more write a piece of (hopefully) serious fiction that features a toilet and (again hopefully) some charming (rather than vulgar) toilet humour. Hopefully, it all hangs together and says something about the image and about The End.
I plan to have great fun posting about this project as it moves toward publication in 2016. Let’s face it, the possibilities for funky word play and cliche blog titles are…ahem…endless. So before my next End related bloggery, be sure to get over to The Fifteen Paintings website for all the latest on what is sure to be a great collection, series of performances, exhibition and art book.