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Jessie Burton, Stanley Spencer exhibition, York Art Gallery, From Afar

Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist, on her new novel, a new show celebrating the work of painter Stanley Spencer, the York Art Gallery and a review of Spanish film From Afar.

After the success of The Miniaturist, author Jessie Burton discusses her second novel, The Muse, which is set between 1930s Spain, at the beginning of the civil war, and 1960s London, and explores the idea of the artist's muse.

The painter Stanley Spencer is the subject of a new exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield. Curator Eleanor Clayton discusses why writing about his painting was as important to Spencer as painting itself.

The York Art Gallery is one of five museums and galleries in the UK to make the shortlist for this year's Museum of the Year Award. In the fourth of our reports from the shortlisted venues, Samira visits the gallery which has recently undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment of its Grade II listed building, creating a space for the new Centre of Ceramic Art in the Victorian roof void, which had been hidden from public view for more than 50 years.

Set in Caracas, From Afar explores the shifting relationship between an older man and the young working-class teenage boy he picks up in a tense, homophobic society. The film won a Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival last year. Briony Hanson, Director of Film at the British Council, reviews.

Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Ella-mai Robey.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Jessie Burton

    Duration: 08:47

  • Stanley Spencer: Angels and Dirt

    Duration: 06:10

  • Museum of the Year nominees: York Art Gallery

    Duration: 08:08

  • From Afar

    Duration: 04:20

Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton

The Muse by Jessie Burton is published by Pan Macmillan.

Image credit: Harry Borden.

From Afar

From Afar
From Afar is in cinemas from Friday 1 July, certificate 15.

Stanley Spencer: Of Angels and Dirt

Stanley Spencer: Of Angels and Dirt

Stanley Spencer: Angels and Dirt is showing at The Hepworth Wakefield until 5 October.

Stanley Spencer, Self-portrait, Adelaide Road, 1939, oil on canvas.

© The Estate of Stanley Spencer / Bridgeman Images. 


Museum of the Year - York Art Gallery

Museum of the Year - York Art Gallery

The Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery

Image credit: Giles Rocholl


Role Contributor
Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Ella-mai Robey
Interviewed Guest Jessie Burton
Interviewed Guest Eleanor Clayton
Interviewed Guest Briony Hanson




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