Thank you, John Berger

I love his writing and admire his life. He was a hero of mine and a role model in living passionately and with integrity, in its senses of both wholeness and honesty. His work was always compassionate, political, and poetic, informed by his artist's eye.

In 2012, I wrote him this letter. I don't know if it ever reached him but I am glad that I tried.


Dear John Berger

Over the last 20 years I have been reading your books, following your adventures, thinking about the choices you have made in living your life. I am writing to thank you from my heart for the huge inspiration you have offered by being the person you are.

I am in the process of making a big shift to the ‘poetic life’ I have longed for – leaving the countryside to move into central London, finding a studio, committing to painting towards an exhibition. I came late to art, practising alongside an academic job until the need for painting and a poetic life became non-negotiable. Asked who my role model or ideal mentor might be, it was your name that sprang straight to my lips.

So, thank you!


Here's a favourite extract of mine from the book and our faces, my heart, brief as photos, John Berger 1984.


(see also the blog post on Feb 16th 2016).