the city talking: york — issue 02Back
The City Talking
The second issue of The City Talking: York is out now across the city.
York is a city with deep foundations of permanence, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change, and it can’t be changed by something temporary.
The emptiness of the pub on Gillygate that became The Fleeting Arms was only the latest change for a space that has been through plenty of changes in its time, but it might turn out to be one of the most significant. That temporary emptiness was an opportunity that Alex Wright and the Flanagan Collective seized, creating The Fleeting Arms for nine months and creating an idea that, if something like that could last for this longer, how much longer could something like that last? As Alex told us, you can do anything with a space, and that’s valuable: “The value of being able to get things wrong, and being able to go and get it less wrong the next time,” he told us, “is huge.”
On Micklegate, Kenneth Spelman got things right, even if it wasn’t what he wanted; and Tony Fothergill continues getting things right today, even if it wasn’t what he intended either. The story of Ken Spelman Books begins with a London bookseller seeking the country away from London’s post-war rubble, and continues today in a shop that Ken would recognise, but that Tony keeps ahead of changes in the book trade. We asked Tony what people wanted from a bookseller these days, and he said with a laugh, “Not books!”
The photographs of Anna Petrova look like they belong in a book of happy memories we’re sure we shared, even if we weren’t there when they were taken; this being 2015, instead they’re on Instagram, and no less beautiful. We spoke to Anna about making the most of every moment with her daughter Alina, and the feeling of days by the seaside, in cities, in past lives.
Comic artist Abigail Harding hasn’t lived the life in her drawings either; alien wolves erupting through space, how could she? But that’s where creativity reaches its pinnacle — in the imagination. And by embodying Dr. Strange at comic cons and sharing her art with a growing group of fans on the internet Abigail makes us imagine what it must be like to have her talent at her fingertips.
Pilfered’s world of kitsch takes a different direction of imagination, into a world of unreality and colour that’s no so far from the front doorstep as it seems. You just have to have the imagination to dream behind the door, and the passion to make it.
The York of castle walls and monkish quarters has been around so long it looks like York to everybody, but it’s a frame, with freedom for imagination within.
The City Talking: York, issue 2, is out now across the city, in all the places you can imagine.