Curated Stories

Pushing The Boat Out Issue 14

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Pushing The Boat Out Issue 14


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Published by Pushing Out the Boat, 2017

Issue 14 of Pushing Out the Boat, North-East Scotland’s Magazine of New Writing, was launched on Sunday 30th April 2017 at the Phoenix Hall, Newton Dee, Aberdeen.

FOREWORD by Wayne Price
Pushing Out the Boat is so much more than just another literary magazine: well into its second decade now (far outlasting the average lifespan of the species) its 14 issues comprise an extraordinary and beautifully produced treasure house of new writing and art. Part of its unique value is that it provides North-East Scotland with a journal to be proud of, one that any other region would envy, acting as a vital inspiration for emerging (and of course established) writers and artists making their own contributions to a line of local brilliance. Another, equally vital, aspect of its quality is its complete and refreshing lack of parochialism. From its earliest days, the magazine has been welcoming to an extraordinary breadth of artistic approaches and inspirations: visual as much as literary, rural as much as urban, experimental as much as traditional, regional as much as international. All tones of voice can be found here, and all shades of vision; the one common denominator is quality.

It’s very fitting that this year’s cover art has been donated by no less an artist than 2016 V&A Prize winner (and ex-Artist in Residence at Peacock Visual Arts) Tom Hammick. I can’t think of a better word than lyrical to describe the haunting blend of narrative and dreamlike imagery in his luminous print. A beautiful vision of lovers ‘pushing out the boat’, it’s also a work, as the artist himself explains below, that draws its inspirations from the operas of Europe and the art of Edo-period Japan. Like the magazine itself, then, it reminds us that the best art is beyond simple borders and boundaries, always teasing our imaginations to cross over from one form of expression, one way of telling, one way of seeing, to another. What could be more appropriate as a gateway to Issue 14?

In an age of increasing intolerance and even contempt for diversity and open-heartedness, Pushing Out the Boat, like Hammick’s print, is a reminder of the power and special value of creative expression itself, free of snobbery, prejudice and narrowness of any kind. It’s a remarkable tribute to each contributor, emerging or well known, working in whatever mode or form, united by a love of craft and creative expression; and a tribute to the volunteers who, in its production and marketing, make the whole thing possible for the people of North-East Scotland and far beyond, year after year, triumphantly.