episode 4: inspiration

In episode 4 it’s time to get inspired! I investigate how different people have found, discovered, rediscovered, or learned something about their creative voice whilst living in France, and how, sometimes, living in this country can hinder it too.

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In the first part of the show I speak to Sarah Gardan, a portrait photographer who divides her time between Paris and Sydney. In the second part, I chat to Linda McCluskey, a painter and permanent resident of the artist aftersquat at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. And in part three, I talk to Sion Dayson, an American writer who moved to Paris, on, in her own words, “a romantic whim”.

Part 1: (re)focussed

Sarah GardanIn the first part of this episode I chat to Sarah Gardan, a portrait photographer specialising in photo sessions with families, couples and children all around the world, from the Eiffel Tower to the beaches of Sydney. She describes the type of work she was doing when she arrived in France and how a series of circumstances led her to carve out a niche for herself in the world of photography. We discuss how living in France facilitated that change, what role Paris plays in her photography and some of the challenges she faced when she launched this career for herself.

Where to find her: sarahgardan.comTwitterFacebook
Where we met: Café Ruc

Part 2: bubbles and art

Linda McCluskeyIn the second part of this episode I headed over to 59 Rivoli, a legalised artist’s squat, located right in the heart of Paris. I made my way past brightly coloured art installations, right up to the 6th floor to chat to the energetic Linda McCluskey. Now a permanent resident of the aftersquat 59 Rivoli and spending her days with paint on her fingers, she explains how came into art a little later in life than some people might expect, following a somewhat unconventional path, how living in France continues to help her move forward in her creative and artistic life as well as the different ways Paris inspires her work.

Where to find her: lindamccluskey.com - Facebook
Where we met: 59 Rivoli

Part 3: writer’s block

Sion DaysonIn the third part of this episode I chat with the American writer, Sion Dayson. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts, has been published in the likes of The Wall Street Journal and easyJet magazine. She also writes an exquisitely honest blog entitled paris (im)perfect and is currently seeking publication for her first novel. She moved to France for love, and seems to have simply stayed, despite herself, despite the sometimes conflicting feelings she has for this country and the way it has, at times, had a negative impact on her writing. We talk about the reasons why Paris hasn’t necessarily always been the fountain of inspiration it is purported to be for other writers, as well as the ways that this experience has improved her writing.

Where to find her: siondayson.comparis (im)perfectFacebookTwitter
Where we met: my recording studio


Full picture gallery

  • 59 Rivoli
  • 59 Rivoli
  • 59 Rivoli
  • 59 Rivoli
  • Linda McCluskey
  • Linda McCluskey
  • Linda McCluskey
  • Linda McCluskey
  • Sarah Gardan
  • Sarah Gardan
  • Sion Dayson
  • Sion Dayson
  • Palais Royal
  • Palais Royal

Music featured in this episode


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  • Jen K
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    What a great episode, and everyone was so interesting. I can’t wait to go back and hear the rest of the shows!

  • ahtoo
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Katia, I love the background sounds- please add more. I can imagine I am sitting there too at the next table over eavesdropping. Any chance you could add some more photos and/or video?

  • Alain Hickey
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed another great show, cheers!

    I checked out Linda McCluskey’s paintings of Dublin, which are really cool. I’ll have to visit 59 Rivoli when I’m in Paris.


  • Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    This episode truly lives up to it’s title, I am SO inspired!! All I want to do right now, is jump into my own “art” … and buy a real painting :) ).
    Love, love, love, love. love it!

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a podcast exploring
the je ne sais quoi
about life in France

created & produced
by Katia Grimmer-Laversanne
© 2012