Gillian Wales recently retired as manager of Bishop Auckland Town Hall which, operates as an arts venue incorporating the Eden Theatre and the McGuinness Gallery together with the Hutchinson Library and the Tourist Information Office. In addition to programming the venue, Gillian was also group manager of libraries in the Bishop Auckland area and has a keen interest in reading and promoting contemporary fiction. Gillian takes the lead in our Iconic Book Group.
She originated the successful literary programme, ‘Book It!’, which included book launches, writing and publishing workshops. She also ran the national ‘Novel Approach/Practise to Deceive’ writing competition for 10 years. Patrons included David Almond, Pat Barker, Terry Deary and Anne Fine. The first winner,Jonathan Tulloch, went on to develop his prize-winning short story, Season Ticket, into a full-length novel which was subsequently filmed as‘Purely Belter’.
Gillian has researched, co-written and published five well received books on mining art. The latest is The Quintessential Cornish Gillian served a season as a director of Mslexia, the highly-praised literary magazine for women who write.
She has now developed a blog reflecting on the gardening year under the supervision if her cat Pablo. Go to: Pablo’s Garden
Gillian Wales,together with her co-author, Robert McManners, published their first book, Tom McGuinness: the art of an underground miner, under the imprint of Gemini Productions in 1997. They went on to publish 4 more books on the subject of mining art including the definitive, award-winning Shafts of Light, which includes the work of over 70 coalfield artists and which has just been reprinted by popular demand.
Income from book sales has been used to collect mining art and the Gemini Collection now numbers in excess of 200 works of art by over 30 artists, both amateur and professional. Part of their collection, together with items borrowed from museums and galleries nationwide, will be shown at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle from May – September 2014.
Gillian Wales – Shafts of Light, is now a much sought after title on Amazon