Currently showing in the Equine Beauty: Art of the Field, Trail, and Paddock exhibit at the Gallery Della-Piana, Wenham MA, Chester College of New England junior Renee Mallet is enjoying a new level of notoriety for her photographic output.
A dedicated student, wife, and mother of three, Mallett is better known for her variety of contributions to the literary world. Poetry, short fiction, magazine articles, books and a graphic novel are just a few of her many publications. She currently is a creative writing major at Chester College and took some time recently to chat with the staff of SO Good.
SO Good: Do you find inspiration from your children? Do you write with them in mind?
Renee Mallett: I think the biggest change in my writing since coming to Chester is writing about my family, thanks mostly to Eric Pinder’s Nature Writing class and Jenn Monroe’s Memoir class.
I used to think that writing about one’s family was the literary equivalent of doing watercolor paintings of your grandkids on the weekends! In addition to the these influential classes, I also came across this quote from experimental film maker Su Friedrich, “You get to something universal by being very specific . . . I think you have to start at home.”
I have since adopted that as kind of like my artistic motto. Since giving myself permission to ‘start at home’, so to speak, my writing has taken a whole new direction.
SG: What is your favorite form of expression, i.e. writing, photography? Do you have one, or a combination?
RM: I am a writer first and foremost; although having been heavily influenced by comic books, and being an active cine-phile, I am constantly exploring new ways to join words and images to create something more.
SG: Tell me more about your current show; what were some of the events that lead to showing your photography?
RM: My photography is being shown, for the first time ever, at the award winning Gallery Della-Piana, located in Wenham MA, along with fifteen other artists from around the world as part of their Equine Beauty: Art of the Field, Trail, and Paddock exhibit. The show will be up through October 17.
The gallery is owned and operated by Elissa Della-Piana, who teaches illustration at Montserrat College of art. Friends recommended that I submit some pieces to at least receive critique on my work.
SG: What are some of your long-term goals for your writing, and your art?
RM: My goal is to keep on experimenting and producing all kinds of different work. I like to make something, send it off into the world, see what becomes of it and see where I’m led to next. I’m definitely more interested in the journey than a destination.
SG: Whom do you look to as an artistic role model? Who influences your work?
RM: My writing has always been more influenced by movies than by books. John Waters, Almodovar, Otto Preminger, and Sam Peckinpah are the directors who I take the most inspiration from.
SG: What should we look for next?
RM: My next big project is a story for an anthology of short zombie comics being published by Terminal Press. I will just be writing on this one, I’m definitely not up to the task of drawing an entire comic!