Interview with Peripheral ARTeries.Read More
Good news to report this week
I have been accepted onto the MFA Studio Practice program at the San Francisco Art Institute starting in August this year. I have known for a while but due to personal circumstances, I got sidetracked and the news was lost in the maze of events that occurred over the last few months. I have also been awarded a full fellowship from the Institute of which I am very happy and honored to accept.
Following in the footsteps of Diego Rivera, Ansel Adams, Richard Diebenkorn and Patti Smith who have all studied and exhibited at the school. Am in good company.
Back to school!!
For 2 hours the panel discussed their work and what motivated them into art activism.
It was a very inspiring, enlightening and passionate discussion and I was very proud and humbled to be around, not just the panel artists, but also all the artists in the gallery that participated in this exhibition.
Big thank you going out to Tanya Augsburg, Priscilla Otani, Women’s Caucus for Art and Arc Gallery and Studios for stepping out of their comfort zone and curating and exhibiting a very thought-provoking exhibition. Well done!!
F213 Exhibition at Arc Gallery and StudiosRead More
Conference at the Royal College of Art.Read More
In connection with all things Anais, the newly revised Anais Nin Foundation website is up and running and it Looks fantastic!!
Well done to these wonderful guys for working so hard!
You can connect with at their website at : https://theanaisninfoundation.org/about
Or follow them on Instagram at : https://www.instagram.com/anaisninfoundation/?hl=en
A big thank you going out to Paul Herron and SkyBlue Press for this amazing collection of all the Cafe in Space journals over the last 15 years.
It is truly a magnificent anthology . Although the Cafe in Space series is coming to an end, Paul and the team at SkyBlue Press are still continuing on their journey into the world of Anais Nin and I am looking forward to what comes next from this talented team. Best of luck !
To get further information on The Cafe in Space Anthology please visit,
On a personal level, I would like thank you Paul for welcoming me into the Anais “ family “. I have met so many fantastic people through you and some have become close friends . You took a chance on my art work and I am forever thankful.
Woke up on Friday morning to the most amazing news. The catalogue of the, ' Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stories' exhibition has been accepted into the University College of Los Angeles Research and Arts Library. Feeling very proud and accomplished that my art work is side by side by Anais Nin's journals and fiction. Since I have embarked on this journey of telling Anais's story in a different language, a visual language, my language - a language that she helped me create with her influence and inspiration, she has had my back. She has opened doors for me that I had never imagined opening, pushed me onwards, introduced me to many other wonderful artists and writers along the way. (Some now good friends). So now I am here beside her. In helping her continue her legacy , she in return has helped to established mine. Anais, I am forever thankful for what you have done for me.
UPDATE!!! ’Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stories’ has also been accepted by the British Library Arts and Research department, John Rylands University Library of Manchester; Bodleian Library Oxford University Arts and Research Library, Harvad Arts and Research Library and my old school of which I am very proud of, St Martins School of Art, London.
News In - The ’Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stories’ catalogue has now been accepted at the Royal College of Art!
When I asked Paul Heron, editor of, 'A Cafe in Space ' - the only literary journal dedicated to diarist/novelist Anais Nin - to write the introduction to the Anais through the Looking Glass and Other Stories exhibition, I never imagined that Paul, who by all accounts is a very busy man, would have the time to write a few sentences let alone an article. Thank you Paul from the bottom of my heart for this amazing piece of writing.
'When Colette Standish submitted “Love,” a mixed media image for the 2011 issue of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, I was immediately struck with how, in spite of the fact she was not herself represented, the spirit of Anaïs Nin spoke strongly and clearly. Standish has become a regular contributor to A Café in Space for the simple reason that her art—sometimes playful, sometimes surrealistic, and always passionate—visually encapsulates Nin’s vast and multifaceted life and work.
In Standish’s new collection, “Anaïs through the Looking Glass and Other Stories,” the visual interweaving of the artist and her muse are presented in three sections. The first, “The Looking Glass,” incorporates the symbol of the mirror in Nin’s oeuvre. Nin said, “The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” It is this philosophy that gives Nin’s writing a mirror-like quality: we, the readers, can recognize our deepest, most hidden qualities in her words. We see ourselves clearly, perhaps for the first time. Standish captures this phenomenon in “The Looking Glass,” and in her “cracked glass” pieces, Nin is bursting through the pages of her books into our world, and we into hers.
The second section, the “Erotic,” is an essential representation of Nin’s complicated love life, which has been called by some an “erotic madness,” beginning when she, a married woman, met the American author Henry Miller in Paris in 1931. Miller “taught” Nin how to “be a woman,” and the process was painful because, as Nin put it, “I was no longer a child with a child’s blind faith.” Several important personages figure into Standish’s images here—Miller himself, his sultry wife June, Nin’s husband Hugo, and her lover, the young forester Rupert Pole. But the most haunting figure, the one who pulled the strings of all the other men as so many marionettes, is Nin’s father, Joaquín, with whom Anaïs had a doomed affair in 1933, a cataclysmic meeting of the long-estranged father and daughter, the result of twenty years of longing, regret, and a never-ending search to replace him with another. Standish depicts Joaquín Nin’s overbearing presence in his daughter’s life brilliantly.
The third section, “Amalgamation,” is a fitting conclusion to “Anaïs through the Looking Glass,” because Nin’s life, contrary to how it has been presented in literature and in film, was not purely erotic, nor purely literary, but a concoction of both—her dreams, which fed her literary works, often affected her decisions about with whom to share them, and vice-versa. Nin’s lovers were not simply flesh and blood—they were characters in her inner life; she was able to transmute the human into a symbol, an extension of the dream, and whatever ugliness, flaws or limitations the lover possessed was left for mortals to judge. Anaïs Nin did not judge, and Standish does not judge Nin but instead allows her potent and unique life-force to burn within the images presented here today.
— Paul Herron, Editor, Sky Blue Press
This article can also be seen in the up and coming catalogue of the show, ' Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stories'. Details soon!
A superb write up of Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stores by Tanya Augsburg : Writer, textbook author, scholar, critic, educator, and feminist curator.
A taster of the article:
'Admitting one’s influences as an artist can be tricky. Some artists never get past the mental challenges of living up to, let alone potentially surpassing, the work of another artist. Literary critic Harold Bloom famously “diagnosed” this daunting dilemma as “the anxiety of influence.” Those who seek critical acclaim often choose to stay reticent, mindful of the premiums placed on so-called originality and innovation. As a mid-career interdisciplinary artist and poet Colette Standish is no stranger to taking risks. Nonetheless, she has done the necessary introspection that frees her to acknowledge frankly not only the sources of her aesthetic inspirations, but also how she encountered them.'
For a more in-depth read on the article that Tanya Augsburg wrote, please check here
This is interview took place not long after the opening of, 'Anais Through the Looking Glass and Other Stories'. Laura Frost, is an award-winning teacher, writer, and cultural critic based in San Francisco and former professor of literature at Yale
LF: First, how did "Anais through the Looking Glass and Other Stories" come together? What was its genesis? Did you begin with the subject matter or the treatment, or something else entirely?
CS: For years I have wanted to do a project based on Anais Nin as I have always found her writing to be very visual and very similar to my art i.e. Erotic, sensual and surreal. It was a matter of time and importance to get the balance right between Anais life and my art. I eventually found the equilibrium in using photographic images of Anais along with varies mediums such as ink, collage and paint.
LF: The pieces have a depth that you create through photographic images, mirrors, frosted glass, and light. Can you describe the composition process, and what these layers of material suggest?
CS: Using these materials enabled me to connect with my subject matter, Anais Nin both emotionally and intellectually. The mirror connects the subject to the viewer therefore creating an intimate relationship instigated by the artist who is also involved. A Menage a Trois between subject, artist and viewer.
To read the full interview check
On Saturday, 31st March at the Center for Sex and Culture, to coincide with the exhibition, 'Anais through the Looking Glass and Other Stories', an important panel discussion took place.’ A Call to Eroticism’ . Five eminent artists and writers discussed and examined the need to keep Eroticism and erotic artists and writers like Anais Nin, our protagonist , current and relevant in todays contemporary world.
When Anais Nin was a young woman in the 1930s just starting out, there were no choices for women. Sex and eroticism in the public sphere was exclusively dominated by men. Anais created her own sexual choices and lived by them. Anais was not alone in creating her choices, there were many other brave and forward-thinking women who ventured into making their own choices: thus, creating the beginnings of erotic feminism. What Anais and her peers created back then has come full circle. Women today have many choices regarding their sexuality. Unfortunately, with the rapid grow of social media and the ‘Selfie’, some choices either get lost along the way or become overwhelming. In this age of immediate self-gratification, Anais Nin offers a subtler path: one of sensuality, eroticism and poetry.
All the writers and artists on the panel have written, or visually explored eroticism in their art. Some have been influenced by Anais Nin, some have not. What they all have in common is the need to keep eroticism in the realm of the senses and in the Arts. They are all pioneers in keeping eroticism alive and are equally as important , if not more so in todays climate, as Anais Nin herself.
For the full panel discussion on, 'A Call to Eroticism', check out the link here
Opening night photosRead More