Close X
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am - 5pm
Wednesday: 10am - 5pm
Thursday: 10am - 5pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm
Painting of two men. One man stands dancing to the left with an octopus in one hand and another lies on his back to the right. In the centre is the sun and clouds either side.

Creative Writing Day: Writing responses to John Craxton and Greece

11am - 4pm


[ Workshop )

This event has passed.

Step into the world of John Craxton with award-winning poet, novelist and non-fiction writer, Ruth Padel, and embark on your creative writing adventure inspired by Craxton’s art and life.

During this beginner friendly workshop, you’ll engage in close readings of texts, poems, and prose to enrich your understanding of descriptive writing and the art of perception. Inspired by our exhibition, John Craxton: A Modern Odyssey, you’ll practice writing exercises that feed your creative work and discuss them to enhance your writing skills.

The day will be split into 3 sections with a 30 lunch break:

Part 1: ‘Self into Landscape’ Join us as we delve into Craxton’s 1940s Britain and wartime experiences. Learn how to weave your feelings and surroundings into your writing. Discover the art of using animals to convey human emotions and predicaments.

Part 2: ‘Colour and Awakening’ Explore Craxton’s early work in Greece and ignite your writing with the colors and vibrancy of foreign lands. We’ll uncover the secrets of infusing your environment with life, joy, and self-awakening, just as Craxton did.

Part 3: ‘Dancing with Myth: Symbolism of Everyday Life’ In the final segment, we’ll journey through Craxton’s later years in Greece and his fascination with ancient myth in everyday life. Learn how to translate the ordinary into the extraordinary. Discover the magic of blending symbolism and myth into everyday objects and conversations.

You will visit the exhibition throughout the day and by the end of the workshop, you can expect to:

  • Gain new skills in using description to convey emotion and character.
  • Translate artistic observations, especially from Craxton’s work, into your writing.
  • Learn how to start a new piece of work.
  • Explore writing challenges and find solutions through collaboration with fellow writers.

Join us in this unique opportunity to combine art and writing, discovering fresh ways to express your creativity and find your unique voice.

Book your ticket


All materials will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own writing materials, if you wish.

Photograph of a woman from the shoulders up. She has dark hair and wears a red top.

Tutor bio - Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel is an award-winning poet, novelist and non-fiction writer, author of twelve poetry collections, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has lived extensively in Greece, especially Crete. Daughters of the Labyrinth, her novel on the Holocaust in Crete, was shortlisted for the Runciman Prize and Anglo-Hellenic Prizes. She has sung in the Town Choir of Heraklion on Crete, worked on archaeological excavations there, written two books on ancient Greek tragedy and myth, taught opera in the Modern Greek Department at Princeton, Ancient Greek in Oxford and Birkbeck College in London, Creative Writing at King’s College London, and tutored on Arvon courses and at the Royal Drawing School.

Find out more