Hello and thanks for visiting!
So, a little bit about me...
I enjoy a busy life. Depending on the day of the week or the contents of my in-tray, I'm a writer, theatre director, musician, all three, or none. This used to bother me. Now I just wake up and get on with whatever the day brings.
Over the last eight years I've flown back and forth (from the UK) to India researching and writing Rising from the Dust, musical-directed and composed the music for two pantos at The Theatre Royal, Winchester, written several feature articles and been employed as an arts project manager, facilitator and trainer in the public, corporate and voluntary sectors.
Until the end of 2004, I was Artistic Director of proteus, one of the south's leading touring companies. Prior to that I was Artistic Director of West 28th Street, company in residence at Fairfield, Croydon.
As a pianist and musical director, I've performed on both sides of the Atlantic and composed the musical scores for over ten shows.
I love to travel and my inquisitive mind has landed me in a number of countries. Those I've spent the most time in include India, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.
I'm in my element when travel and writing opportunities meet. In December 2008, I travelled to Niyamgiri in Orissa, India, where I was commissioned by Resurgence magazine to explore the potential impact of the Vedanta mining project on the cultural and spiritual rights of the Khondas tribes. It's an incredible story: you can find out more about it on my website (see below).
Since 2009, I've been Co-Director of Theatre for Take Art, a pioneering arts charity that serves the towns, villages and rural communities of Somerset. It's a part-time development role that enables me to juggle all my other freelance commitments.
If you'd like to find out more about me, why I've spent so much time in India and what I'm up to now, please visit my website www.emptycanvas.co.uk
Absent Friends ~ The Hidden Dangers of Being an Indian Girl
by Mark Helyar
Absent Friends places the reality and impact of gender discrimination in the context of daily life in the Himalayan foothills, told through the stories of the girls and women who live there. From the author of Rising from the Dust ~ India's Hidden Voices, it includes references and links to relevant news stories, publications and online material.