A Letter from the Editor

September 21st 2014

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Issue Fourteen of StepAway Magazine

This issue was published on a momentous weekend for Scotland.

The decision to remain within the Union has provided a political platform that the Scottish people can surely build upon. Being based a stone’s throw from the border here at StepAway, we had mixed feelings about the referendum debate. There was a distinct feeling of unease about a hard international border being drawn a mere seventy miles north of us.

In many respects we felt a closer connection and kinship with Scotland and Edinburgh than, perhaps, with London. With all of our fondness for our northern neighbours, a yes vote would surely have us feeling left out in the cold. And yet, something in us wanted Scotland to go it alone. Since the dawn of time, blood has been spilled for the gain of territory. In this one moment, Scotland could have gained independence without a rifle being raised, or a bomb being dropped. An inscription at the entrance to the Culloden Moor battlefield reads:

‘S i ‘n fhuil bha’n cuisl’ ar sinnsreadh,
‘S an innsgin a bha ‘nan aigne…

Our blood is still our fathers,
And ours the valour of their hearts…

These few stirring words alone could surely mobilise hundreds of thousands in support of the Yes vote? We were almost certain that we would wake up on Friday morning to news of an independent Scotland. And yet, to our utter surprise, the opposite occurred.

We’d like to celebrate Scotland’s decision by linking to John Stock’s poem Edinburgh, a nocturnal wander in Auld Reekie, first published in StepAway Magazine Issue Twelve.

Meanwhile, our autumn issue showcases another dazzlingly talented set of writers, including: Jon Backmann, Adam Berlin, Michael Duggan, Joachim Frank, Rayon Lennon, Ilona Martonfi, Natalie Shaw, Ana C. H. Silva, Laurie Stone and Norman Waksler.

Our striking cover art comes courtesy of Sarah Symes. To create her art, Sarah uses a unique self-discovered process using hand dyed fabrics. She aspires to recreate the internal experience of places and people through her work. The result is “an abstraction of real life, infused with memories and ideas evoked by the subject”. Her artwork “conjures emotion through color and manipulates composition to suggest familiar forms and landscapes.” The piece showcased on our cover is entitled “Havana Streetscape No. 3″ and is inspired by the artists time spent in Cuba. She writes: “Havana left me with a lasting impression of spectacular decay. Its ancient core is a half-crumbling, half-restored patchwork of colorful streets dating back to the origins of the new world.” To view Sarah’s stunning portfolio and purchase her work please visit: www.sarahsymes.com

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate StepAway Issue Eight cover artist Sherry Karver on her current exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Conway Street Gallery in London. Running until September 27th, this exceptional collection of artwork is well worth a look. My article on Ms. Karver’s work is the final installment in this issue.

I hope that you enjoy reading this, the fourteenth StepAway Magazine

Yours faithfully,

Darren Richard Carlaw