Images of beauty bombard us. From the moment we wake up and put on our make-up (as Aretha Franklin so eloquently put it) until we go to bed at night, pictures of painted faces, glossy hair, bodies of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages pop up on Instagram, fill the pages of magazines, beam through our screens, and dress blank spaces in museums and galleries. But how often do we consider beauty from an intellectual point of view? Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, and read these excellent books which in different ways, challenge our obsession with physical perfection and pose guilt-free, sometimes complex questions to make us re-evaluate the way we think about beauty.Read more
Flying back from India on the day of Divali and shortly after the last few embers of fireworks in our own uniquely British Guy Fawkes night have disappeared, it occurs to me that these extraordinary displays of colour - the orange of marigolds in cool pools of water by day, and of warm flames against the dark night sky - are a real gift as the clocks go back and it starts to get dark at four.
Paper VII is full of colourful sparklers too, we like to think. In this issue: the make-up artist Val Garland, no stranger to a little glitter, submits to the Wildsmith Q&A; Beauty Matters, by Julie Hoegh, editor of the much-loved Bookstoker website, is dedicated to the books that make us re-think our relationship with beauty; and the poet Wilson Oryema has written a poem exclusively for the Wildsmith Papers about the next 12 years of our lives. Which, as he puts it, you can think of it as three world cups – or more critically - the time we have left to save the planet.
Finally, this month our regular Good Deeds feature, written by Fiona Golfar is dedicated to the memory of someone who lit up the lives of pretty much everyone he met. He wasn’t famous. He wasn’t rich. But we’re writing about the late Mark Milsome, because his kindness, humour, warmth and talent is the inspiration for a new charitable foundation to help young people get a head start in the film industry. The world needs more people like Mark, sadly taken from us too early.
We hope you enjoy the Wildsmith Papers; we very much enjoyed putting it together for you.