Ruskin To-Day is an informal network devoted to promoting wider knowledge and understanding of the ideas of the great Victorian writer, reformer and artist, John Ruskin (1819–1900).

2019 sees the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth on 8th February, 1819. This site has been set up to provide as much information as possible about Ruskin-related events that are taking place between now and the close of 2019.

There is a calendar of events that will be updated regularly, and a map that will help you find events near you.

There are also links to the many organisations that make up the Ruskin community. There is another website dedicated to the Bicentennial www.ruskin200.com 

On Thursday 11 June 2019 at the preview of The 5th John Ruskin Prize shortlist exhibition; Agent of Change held at The Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art, the prize organisers, visual literacy charity The Big Draw announced the 3 winners of The John Ruskin Prize 2019 where they were presented with their share of this year’s £5000 prize fund.

The John Ruskin Prize 2019 Prize Winners:
1st Prize (£3000): Juliette Losq, 2nd Prize (£1000): Shanti Panchal, Student / Recent Graduate Prize (£1000): Chao Wang

Following a challenging winner selection for the 2019 panel, artist Juliette Losq was selected by the panel as the 1st Prize Winner for her hand painted 3D installation ‘Proscenium’ – an immersive installation based on a ‘Teleorama’ optical device. Measuring an impressive 3 metres in height and width the intricately layered work defies belief as the restrictive boundaries of watercolour are boldly rejected. The 2019 selection panel were taken by the form and content of the work, the elegant brushwork at odds with the brutality of urban decay brought full circle as nature reclaims its rightful place.

 

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

 Mohandas K Gandhi, regarded by Indians as ‘the Father of the Nation’ was born on 2 October 1869. This year is therefore the 150th anniversary of his birth: a nice coincidence that it should fall in Ruskin’s bicentennial year. There is an official website for the anniversary, set up by the Indian government:

https://gandhi.gov.in/gandhi-celebration.html.

Gandhi attributed his change of heart to the influence of Ruskin. He wrote of Ruskin’s Unto this Last that it ‘brought about an instantaneous and practical transformation in my life …. I translated it later into Gujarati, entitling it Sarvodaya (The Welfare of All). I believe that I discovered some of my deepest convictions reflected in this great book of Ruskin, and that is why it so captured me and made me transform my life. A poet is one who can call forth the good latent in the human breast. Poets do not influence all alike, for everyone is not evolved in equal measure. The teaching of Unto This Last I understood to be: 1. That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
2. That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s inasmuch as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.
3. That a life of labour, i.e., the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman is the life worth living.
The first of these I knew. The second I had dimly realized. The third had never occurred to me. Unto This Last made it as clear as daylight for me that the second and the third were contained in the first. I arose with the dawn, ready to reduce these principles to practice.’ M.K. Gandhi, An Autobiography or The Story of my Experiments with Truth (1927-1929), trans. Mahadev Desai, part IV, ch. XVIII.

Sarvodaya is really an adaptation of Unto this Last for an Indian context. There is a ‘retrotranslation’ of it in English, Unto this Last: A Paraphrase, translated by Valji Govindji Desai. It can be found on the internet, and a few copies are available from Peter Miller of the Guild of St George:  peter.miller30@btinternet.com

In 1949, just after Gandhi’s assassination, George Orwell wrote this of him: ‘regarded simply as a politician and, compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind!’

Clive Wilmer

 

 

Upcoming events and exhibits: 2019

27 Sep - 28 Sep
Conference
The Roycroft Campus, East Aurora, NY
28 Sep - 29 Sep
Awards Ceremony: Big Draw Awards
Benzie Building, Manchester School of Art

The Big Draw Awards Ceremony will take place on the 28th September, and a family day will follow on the 29th.

Further information can be found at www.thebigdraw.org.launch-2019

06 Oct
Ruskin in Manchester: Creative Writing Workshop, the Poetry of Observation
Elizabeth Gaskell's House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester M13 9LW

£25 Booking Essential | Book Here | Adults only

Join us for an afternoon poetry workshop inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Taking inspiration from John Ruskin’s ideas about observation, and in honour of our Ruskin exhibition, you will use the exquisite features of the House and garden to write original pieces of poetry based on focused contemplation. Led by poet Rachel Sills, the 3-hour workshop will include the opportunity to explore the House, and to share your work (if you like) for feedback. Afternoon workshop, 12 – 3pm

07 Oct - 09 Oct
Conference: 'A Great Community: John Ruskin's Europe'
Ca’ Foscari University, Venice

More details https://sites.google.com/a/unive.it/ruskin2019venezia/ 

11 Oct - 14 Oct
Retreat: Creative writing retreat with Geraldine Green and Pippa Little
The Lake District

Come and join Pippa Little and Geraldine Green on a 4-day residential poetry course at Brantwood, Coniston Cumbria, former home of John Ruskin. Brantwood is beautiful at any time of year and autumn in the Lakes is especially magical. Using a variety of writing prompts and stimuli new writing will be produced in a safe and friendly environment. There will be an opportunity for group feedback at the end of each session and one-to-one tutorials with Geraldine and Pippa. There’ll also be time to enjoy your own quiet writing time, if you choose.  Pippa and Geraldine will give a reading on Friday evening and you’re all welcome to read a poem or two on Saturday evening when the group give a reading to the tutors.  Residential and non-residential options are available.  Friday 2.00pm – Monday 2.00pm.  £285 per person

24 Oct
Lecture: Riding the Storm: the political legacy of John Ruskin
Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield

6.00-7.15pm

Speaker: Howard Hull, Director of the Ruskin Foundation and Brantwood Trust
For more details and free tickets, visit jhwhitley.eventbrite.co.uk
07 Nov
Special Event: Open Mic Night
Brantwood, Coniston

Join poet Geraldine Green and other Cumbrian creative talent at the annual winter open mic night at the Terrace at Brantwood. Supper at 7pm followed by readings. Open mic slots available. Tickets £14. Pre booking essential.