Culture vulture

3rd February 2006 at 00:00
Diane Clavin digs Dylan and loves to take in some Turner

Best book ever

I love biographies and autobiographies and I'm also a great Bob Dylan (pictured) fan, so I'm in my element reading Dylan's memoir Chronicles: Volume One which is packed with interesting insights. I also like art history and am very partial to the art historical detail in Dan Brown's (The Da Vinci Code) novels.

Best film ever

The Quiet Man with John Wayne (director John Ford 1952) because I love the cinematography, particularly of the Irish landscape. My parents are Irish and so is my partner, so I have a great affinity with the place.

Best inspiration

I set up a project for pupils with the artist Gowri Savoor at the Manchester dental hospital based on the use of line and was completely taken with the sculptural work she created (called "cedar tumors"). It was 3-D but looked like a stained glass window. It was made of stretched paper which had this wonderful translucent quality, full of light. It was very striking, very beautiful.

Something to share

Turner has great appeal as I'm a landscape and skyscape artist. I took pupils to a Turner exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery (The Late Seascapes: 50 oils and watercolours, November 2003-January 2004). We sat together in front of those paintings and lost ourselves in those expressions of sea and sky, of shifting light and colour.

Best resource

Working outside the classroom. We're starting a history project through Creative Partnerships this month with the Corner House, a contemporary art venue, and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, to create an installation on the history of the cotton industry. There's nothing to beat this kind of work for stimulating pupils.

Looking forward to...

I've moved to the Cheshire countryside and want to design a garden that feels peaceful enough to paint in and has lots of herbs for cooking as that's something else I enjoy. Also, my partner and I want to hit the London galleries in May. He's a builder and we're especially interested in the Josef Albers (Bauhaus) exhibition at Tate Modern (March-June 2006).

Diane Clavin, 36, is assistant arts co-ordinator at Chorlton high school, Manchester, where she fundraises for and organises arts projects, particularly to support pupils with learning needs. Interview by

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