Our President – Fiona Talkington

Updated: 24 Apr 2022


The RGA is pleased to announce that the new President of the Reading Guild of Artists is Fiona Talkington. Some of us have already enjoyed getting to know Fiona last year when she was invited to be the assessor for the Annual Exhibition Marie Dyson Award and charmed us with her wonderful insights into the works on display. We look forward to introducing her to more of our members over the coming months.

Photo of Fiona Talkington
Fiona Talkington
photo by Ellen Dobbs

"I am delighted and honoured to accept the position of President of the Reading Guild of Artists. This is such a vibrant and exciting group of artists which plays such an important part in Reading's creative life, and I really look forward to sharing in their vision. The last two years has reminded us of what a vital part the arts play in our expression and sense of well-being, and the importance of this for the whole community."

Attending the recent preview events for the RGA exhibition Sense of Space at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Fiona said: "The spaces of South Hill Park were an inspiration to many of the artists exhibiting, but the theme also draws on the notion of our own sense of space, something which so many of us reflected on during the pandemic. It was thrilling to share in some of that inspiration, to spend time with vast canvases, and small prints, with silhouettes and ceramics and to reflect on the skills and talents of so many members of RGA. I came away deeply moved and inspired and determined to go back to spend more time with the geese, the flowers, hands, skies, portraits of people unknown, mysteries and challenges and stillness."

Biography

Fiona Talkington is best known as a presenter for BBC Radio 3 and for 20 years presenting the award-winning programme 'Late Junction' showcasing her passion for and knowledge of music from classical and jazz, to world music, folk and experimental. She has presented the Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall, is a regular voice on Radio 3's lunchtime concerts and the Afternoon show, as well as presenting features and documentaries not only on Radio 3 but on BBC World Service, Radio 4 and 6Music.

Fiona has curated numerous events and festivals including at Kings Place in London and the Royal Opera House, and she was curator for a 3-year series at the National Jazz stage in Oslo bringing together Norwegian and British musicians, writers and artists. Her awards include the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her services to the arts. She has also been guest curator for the Reading Fringe Festival including curating a music and literature project called 'Conversations with Trees'.

As a writer Fiona is a regular contributor to Songlines magazine and has written for the Guardian and Independent newspapers and has contributed numerous articles and chapters on Norwegian arts and music. She is editor of the English edition of 'The Sound of the North' by Luca Vitali.

Fiona has an MA in Literature and the Visual Arts from the University of Reading. She enjoys working with projects which span different art forms and she is an Associate Artist for Reading's Jelly.

She has worked on various projects for Reading Refugee Support Group including creative writing projects with people from Afghanistan and hosted RRSG's 25th anniversary event at Reading's Town Hall.

Fiona was born and brought up in Reading where she still lives.

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