HTSI editor’s letter: in search of the new ingénue
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So much has changed when it comes to the emergence of new artistic talent. Thanks to Netflix, other streaming services and social media, unknown actors can now awake to global fame: just look at the phenomenal ascent of South Korean model and actress HoYeon Jung, of Squid Game, who picked up 15m Instagram followers in the first three weeks of that show’s release.
By contrast, the career of Odessa Young has followed a more traditional trajectory. Her performance in the 2020 biopic Shirley, about the writer Shirley Jackson, was critically acclaimed, and this month she takes on the role of Jane Fairchild, the fearless protagonist of Mothering Sunday, based on the Graham Swift novella about an illicit relationship in the aftermath of the first world war. Although the drama obsesses over the snobberies inherent among the British upper classes, Young is actually Australian. And it’s perhaps her outsider’s perspective that makes her so alluring in the role. Or maybe it’s just because she’s from Australia, an incubator for acting talent that can be exported around the world. Young joins a list of names, including Margot Robbie, Sarah Snook and, naturally, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman, who are reshaping the female view in television and film, and her assured performance in this, her most high-profile role in cinema to date, suggests a great career to come.
Hard to imagine that the agricultural-looking hangar in Riverstick, Ireland, contains the sophisticated, sinuous sculptures conceived by the artist Joseph Walsh. The furniture maker and designer grew up in County Cork and founded his studio there, surrounded by the landscapes that continue to inspire him, in 1999. For our design expert and assistant editor Jackie Daly, the opportunity to interview one of her favourite makers had been heavily anticipated. I’m very happy also to have worked with Ellius Grace on the pictures. The Irish photographer has taken some truly arresting images for other media organisations this year and l’ve been hungrily waiting for an opportunity to feature him in this magazine. The results are a wonderfully evocative portrait of the artist’s studio, both as a place of creative industry but also as a meditative space.
Ajesh Patalay has been our food columnist for more than 18 months now, but this week finds him writing on a far more personal theme. Some of his most cherished memories from childhood were the outings his family made to Indian restaurants – restaurants that in recent years he has been dismayed to see closed down. In searching for new possible family favourites, however, he finds a cuisine undergoing an exciting evolution, and a new attitude among Indian cooks determined to make us think again. His round-up of his recommendations in London at the moment makes for appetising reading; I’m also determined to try the accompanying recipe for perfect yakhni pulao and make a bowl of rice of which I can be proud.
And lastly I salute Alice Lascelles, who uses her excellent column this week to mourn the absence of juniper from the making of so many modern gins. She also rectifies the oversight by identifying the distillers who appreciate this most piquant and delicious spice. You can keep your grapefruits, cucumber and all those exotic apothecary mixers – I, like her, am absolutely persuaded that we must put the juniper back in.
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