When Ron Sexsmith decided to ditch his rock band and become a singer-songwriter in the classic mould, it was a step that took a great deal of courage. In the late 1980s, singer-songwriters were still suffering from a severe image problem. They were seen as part of the post-1960s malaise – overgrown, would-be adolescents wallowing in egocentricity and spineless self- pity. Since the early 1990s, however, and thanks in part to Sexsmith’s sterling groundwork, singer-songwriters – the odder in looks and outlook the better – have enjoyed a renaissance. Today, Sexsmith counts artists as diverse as Steve Earle, k.d. lang and Feist among his fans, whilst Michael Bublé covered his song ‘Whatever It Takes’. The 47-year-old Canadian recorded his twelfth and latest album with legendary producer Bob Rock in Los Angeles – an experience documented in an affecting film, Love Shines.
Despite, or perhaps because of, having his books once banned in Swiss nurseries and Reagan’s America (he was a 1960s agitprop satirist), Tomi Ungerer has found acclaim as an illustrator and children’s writer. Though little known in the UK (he is a cult hero in his native France and in America), his imaginative, horror-tinged stories have had children – and adults – in thrall since the early 1970s.
Josie Jeffery has been seedbombing for three years, having had the best education: she grew up living on a bus with her family who collected and distributed seeds and rescued tree saplings from roadsides on their travels
Britain and Ireland enjoy a rich heritage of wild places and interesting artefacts, often greatly overlooked in the past as we sought holiday experiences abroad, neglecting what has always been under our noses
Sublime talks to two artists who use second-hand clothing as their medium of choice