OLD LYME — On Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m., Lyme Academy of Fine Arts invites community members to a Tea & Talk with Judy Cotton as she shares her first book Swimming Home: A Memoir.
This free event will take place at de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities located on the campus of the Academy at 84 Lyme St. (South Entrance) in Old Lyme.
Cotton will read excerpts from her book, and a discussion with the internationally-recognized artist and author will follow.
Copies of Cotton’s debut publication will be available for purchase for $25.99 along with a book signing that will take place after the event.
The author explains, ”This memoir is an effort to understand my mother and the country I loved and left behind for a life in the arts in America. But my complicated feeling for her and the country, Australia, stayed with me.”
Cotton explains that she likes to use words in the same way that she paints. She illustrates that concept with this excerpt: “Morning light in Sydney has a quality of powdered gold, spilt celestial talcum. It gets up the nose … Fragrance sheets the air. Walking through it is like wading through a tidal river in bursts of warm and cold … it was September, the wattle was flowering, and it smelt like napalm.”
Chris Gordon’s review of Swimming Home describes the book as, “… watertight; it immediately conjures up images of tidal currents and the fearsome mystery of deep water, alongside hopeful shallow rifts.
Washington Post Art Critic Sebastian Smee describes Cotton as “… an enthusiastic observer of the natural world, both in the wilds of America and in her native Australia.” He adds, “Cotton has long been drawn to life in flux. And this memoir is just that — a moving feast of observation and obligation, of wit and internal struggle, and of a portrait of a family told with great pathos.”
Born in Australia in 1941, Cotton has lived and worked in the U.S. since 1971. She is a visual artist with work held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the Florence Griswold Museum, the National Gallery of Australia and numerous private collections.
From 1974 to 1993, Cotton was the New York contributing editor for Vogue Australia.
In 2008, she began to live in Lyme full time alongside the Connecticut river, which has influenced and informed her work.
For more information about the event, call Cameron Paynter at 860-434-8725.
To learn more about events, lectures, workshops and programs offered at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, visit www.lymeacademy.edu.
Editor’s Note: The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs and related ventures, including the opening of de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities on its historic campus, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community.
Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.