A weekend with Gillian Hawkins

Gill Hawkins
Gill Hawkins
Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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Artist Gillian Hawkins is 61 and lives in Southsea. She has a studio at Art Space in Brougham Road which is holding a free open garden event tomorrow, 1pm to 4pm. Visitors can enjoy tea, cakes and plant buying. Here she tells us about her perfect weekend.

· What would be your ideal weekend destination?

I’d like somewhere abroad that’s interesting, scenic, historic and cultural, with somewhere nice to eat. So I would chose Avignon in France because it has all of these and is quick to get to on Eurostar.

· Not counting your loved ones, who would be your dream companion?

John Walsh who writes for The Independent. I like his journalism and enjoyed his books. He would be an entertaining and knowledgeable companion. He’s also a restaurant critic. That could be very useful.

· What music would you take with you?

Bessie Smith, the great American black early blues singer. She has a powerful voice, sex, pathos and loss.

· What about something to read?

Wise Children by Angela Carter. It’s a book with layers of meaning around identity, reality, choice, and mortality. It’s an easy, wittily-written read on one level, but darker and more complex on others.

· What would be your ultimate way to relax?

I wouldn’t be able to take my allotment on holiday with me. I have shared an allotment with a friend and the separate world of the allotment with its own rhythm, time-scale, physical problems and pleasures has been a revelation.

· If money were no object, which shop would you head for?

Somewhere selling antique jewellery to pick out some nice, not too vulgar, interesting pieces.

· What’s your all-time favourite film?

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). It’s an amazing film and you can understand how much else it has influenced.

· We’re buying the drinks tonight. What’s your poison?

Adnams sell a Monty’s Organic Tuscan Red wine which I like.

· What are you doing this weekend?

On Saturday, I’ll go up to the allotment. On Sunday I’ll be at Art Space for the last day of our show Stuffed and the garden open day.

· What’s a favourite local destination for a weekend day out?

Chichester. It has a distinct feel and identity. There’s plenty to see and walk around. The cathedral is lovely. Pallant House will have something interesting on. There are plenty of places for a sup of tea and the charity shops are good. Also, New Park cinema has excellent films.