Marina Warner


9 May 2024, In Conversation: Cultures of Enchantment, event at Murray Edwards

To accompany The Goddess, the Deity and the Cyborg exhibition Murray Edwards partnered with the Fitzwilliam Museum on a programme of events to coincide with their exhibition, William Blake’s Universe.

Join novelist, critic and cultural historian Marina Warner, art historian and curator Dr Amy Tobin and interdisciplinary scholar and art writer Dr Alice Butler at Murray Edwards College. Panellists will discuss art’s place in society both as a site of enchantment and a realm in which imagination holds the key to knowledge and understanding.

The event includes a drinks reception. More here.

8 May 2024, A Living Almanac at Keynes Library, Birkbeck Arts Week 2024 – book to join here

The next Living Almanac workshop is part of Birkbeck 2024 Arts Week, organised with Steve Willey, with guest speaker Briony Hughes. An almanac is a book of days, a calendar, and a diary but it differs from these, as it gathers together all kinds of lore – weather forecasts, astrology, auguries, folk remedies and proverbial wisdom. It is above all proleptic not retrospective – it isn’t a journal of what has happened but of the year ahead. It builds on experience of the past to anticipate what might lie in store and equip its user with means to meet adversity – and forestall it. Its temporality is attached to present and the future – this is important as we try to re-imagine ways of being during the Anthropocene, when climate change and other serious threats are growing. Many writers and artists are engaging with place; a Living Almanac will engage with time, through writing, drawing, dreams and memories.

April 2024, Marina’s piece ‘Arabesque in Action’ is in the publication Aby Warburg 150: Work, Legacy, Promise (De Gruyter), edited by David Freedberg and Claudia Wedepohl

2 Dec 2023 – 28 Apr 2024, writing for Fairy Tales: In Art and Film book catalogue, Exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery 

Marina has contributed to the ‘Fairy Tales’ catalogue, to accompany the exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia.

Step into the enchanting world of once upon a time. From opulent carriages to sumptuous gowns, twisted woodlands to mystical mirrors, ‘Fairy Tales’ at GOMA explores centuries of beloved folk stories through art, design and film. Exclusive to Brisbane, this exhibition brings together exceptional contemporary art, breathtaking costumes, immersive installations and stunning cinema from visual storytellers around the world to untangle themes of bravery and justice, loyalty and humility, cunning and aspiration.

‘Fairy Tales’ features the work of artists Abdul Abdullah, Del Kathryn Barton, Destiny Deacon, Gustave Doré, Rachel Feinstein, Trulee Hall, Carsten Höller, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Ron Mueck, Tracey Moffatt, Henrique Oliveira, Polixeni Papapetrou, Patricia Piccinini, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterbak and many others. It includes original papercuts by Hans Christian Andersen, a nineteenth-century photograph by Lewis Carroll and a costume designed by Henri Matisse for the Ballets Russes adaptation of ‘The Nightingale’. Also featured are film costumes and props from Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête 1946, Jacques Demy’s Donkey Skin 1970, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 1986, Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are 2009, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 2010, Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror 2012, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella 2015 and more.

A free curated film program screens alongside the exhibition in the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque with ongoing screenings of Jim Henson’s The StoryTeller television series throughout the season.

17 April, 6.30pm-7.45pm, Alternative stories: women, allegory and painting, panel discussion at the Royal Academy (The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre | Burlington Gardens) Tickets £15/£9. More information here.

Throughout art history, women have appeared in paintings as allegorical characters, often as tropes from religious or mythological sources from Eve to Medusa.

But alternative histories were also presented. Artists such as Angelica Kauffman foregrounded women as powerful characters, drawing on contemporary female creatives such as Emma Hart (Lady Hamilton) as inspiration for female ‘types’ in her history paintings. Now, contemporary artists are using mythology to reframe many of the traditional narratives associated with women.

In this discussion, our expert panel (Sutapa Biswas, Marina Warner and Annette Wickham, chaired by Sarah Turner) will discuss female characters in painting, and how artists working from Kauffman’s time to the present, have sought to subvert allegorical tropes.

This talk is programmed alongside the exhibition, Angelica Kauffman, on at the RA from 1 March – 30 June 2024.

”To gambol upon gossamer’: Fairy Tales in Performance’, essay published in the Exhibition Catalogue accompanying the exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, on until 25 February 2024

Marina’s essay is included in the book Realms of Imagination: Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy, edited by Tanya Kirk and Matthew Sangster. The book includes other essays by Rachel Foss, Cristina Bacchilega, Dimitra Fimi and Maria Dahvana Headley, to name a few. Get your copy now, on the British Library website shop.

22 February, ‘Multiplying Marys’ London Review of Books, Vol.46, No.4 and online

Marina wrote a review for the LRB, writing about Mary Magdalene: A Cultural History by Philip C. Almond and Mary Magdalene: A Visual History by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

21 February, ‘Communities of Fate: Magical Writing and Contemporary Fabulism’ from the book Volume 1 The Languages of World Literature

Marina’s piece is part of the multi-volume work The Many Languages of Comparative Literature, published by De Gruyter, is available online (and ready to download as a PDF). The paper comes from the AILC/ICLA Congress 2016 and will be available in print soon.

13 February, Masterclass at the University of East Anglia 3-5pm

Marina has written the programme notes for Kim Brandstrup‘s double-bill, premiering on 29 January 2014 at the Theatre Bath. More information available here.

Metamorphoses, exploring the story of Cupid and Psyche, and featuring ballet superstars Matthew Ball and Alina Cojocaru, premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bath on January 29, 2024 as part of a double-bill with Brandstrup’s acclaimed work Minotaur, one of the undisputed hits of the 2023 Edinburgh Festival.

Meanwhile, Brandstrup’s mesmerising eight-minute film, Leda and the Swan  (2014) is also part of the exhibition at Victoria Miro of the same name (see below), which was on view until January 13, 2024 at Victoria Miro, London and on

18 January, Forever After: Angela Carter, British Library (online only), 7.30pm

Kelly Link, Marina Warner and Terri Windling with Amal El-Mohtar come together to speak about Angela Carter, exploring the nature of the fairy tale tradition and its ongoing power. This event accompanies the British Library exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, on until 25 February. Tickets from £3.25, available here.

16 January 2024, ‘Review: Joy Williams on Leonora Carrington’, Book Post

Joy Williams wrote about Leonora Carrington, mentioning Marina’s introduction for the NYRB published collection of Carrington’s Down Below (2017). This book by Carrington is an account of the time she suffered in a mental hospital when she was twenty-three. Here’s an excerpt from Williams’ piece, describing Carrington’s long career:

Years of metaphysical inquiry, friendships, motherhood, and art art art. Her work with its vibrant dehumanized animals, its mythic universality, and mysterious lucidity remains a marvel. She was and remains forever rad. For a time she was even American. She lived for two decades in Chicago and New York City writing plays and painting before moving permanently to Mexico. While in the US she became a committed member of the enviro group Earth First! She very much approved of a rewilded earth and a nonconformist, nonmaterialistic citizenry.

In accompanying Leonora Carrington news, there will soon be an update on the short film Inside the Cauldron, which Marina contributed a voice-over of an unpublished essay of Carrington’s. There is more about the film on the Jarman Lab’s blog, back from when they were crowdfunding the production. A piece about the film was recently included in the second issue of motor, a print publication dedicated to dance and writing about dance, available here.

1 December – 13 January 2024, LEDA and the SWAN:a myth of creation and destruction, Exhibition – Collaboration with Conrad Shawcross, Victoria Miro Gallery II, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW, Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm.

Curated by Minna Moore Ede and presented by Vortic Curated and Victoria Miro, an exhibition of primarily new work by sixteen artists across a variety of media – drawing, painting, sculpture, film and dance. Their responses to the myth of Leda and the Swan are diverse; each has found their own meaning in the story, revealing much about our contemporary preoccupations, be they personal or universal. The exhibition is available to view on A glimpse below:

4 January 2024, ‘Fairy Tales with the historian and mythographer Marina Warner: Charles Perrault and Angela Carter’ On the Road with Penguin Classics, Penguin podcast hosted by writer Henry Eliot

The podcast is available for free on all platforms, including Apple / iPhone Podcasts, Spotify, Audible and Google.

In Dame Marina’s magical home in North London we discuss Perrault’s Tales of Mother Goose and Carter’s Bloody Chamber, as well as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard and Little Red Riding Hood. Already out in the new series are episodes with Monica Ali on Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein with the neuroscientist Anil Seth and the poet Fiona Sampson.