Ryan Watts

Artistic photographer, writer, board member of Norwich Co-Operative Arts and all-round fey twankhole.
Ryan Watts has written 12 posts for The Old Lemon

9/11: Paranoia, Fear & Hatred

In the week approaching the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, vehement disputes are returning over the origins of the atrocities. Congratulations are due to the BBC, which last week idiotically broadcast ‘The Conspiracy Files’, a documentary which sought to disprove the conspiracy theories with cold reasoning, only to end up giving airtime to such dismal … Continue reading »

9/11: Implacable Hatred

“No warning, no demands, no negotiation.” Tony Blair had to clarify this in his autobiography, such was the difference of this new form of terrorism to acts which had preceded it. Martin Amis summarised al-Qaeda’s message superbly: “America, it is time you learned how implacably you are hated.” As pithily written as this is, though, … Continue reading »

UK Riots: Bad Coverage

By all accounts, few commentators and few publications can claim any degree of credit for their accounts of the rioting across the United Kingdom this week. The condemnations have been (almost) unanimous, but most attempts to understand the outbreaks of violence and looting have so far been patchy to say the least. Cristina Odone’s comment … Continue reading »

News of the World: Credit Where It’s Due

Credit where it’s due. Credit to News International on the shrewd closure of the News of the World. Credit also to Ed Miliband, for being vocal on a vital subject which has received rather less attention from the public. To be absolutely clear: as the owner of a newspaper whose reputation had been irretrievably defaced … Continue reading »

In Profile: Vicki Johnson

Vicki Johnson is an intensely busy woman. In addition to her exceptional work as a freelancer in textile design, she runs the Stew Print Rooms alongside Jo Stafford and is a member of Norwich’s Mesh Collective, a group of artists producing an impressive and diverse array of screen prints. Demand for her work, as well … Continue reading »

Left or Right?

“Liberals in Western politics,” wrote the feminist political activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her essay ‘Breaking Through the Islamic Curtain’, “have the strange habit of blaming themselves for the world’s ills, while seeing the rest of the world as victims. To them, victims are to be pitied, and they lump together all pitiable and suppressed … Continue reading »

In Profile: Jo Stafford

In an old handbag factory in the centre of Norwich sits Stew, the art gallery and studio space. Among its numerous facilities for local artists can be found the Stew Print Rooms, a specialist studio for screen printing which is proving increasingly popular in the city. The venue is special for another reason, however: it … Continue reading »

In Profile: David Drake

I recently met fellow Norwich photographer David Drake for a conversation in the Underbelly, the artistic space in the cellar of the city’s Rumsey Wells pub, which is currently exhibiting his most recent project - a series of portraits of the artists who have exhibited in the space since its opening one year ago. Along … Continue reading »

Faith, Atheism & Creation

Alex Irving and I have been extremely firm friends since meeting at UEA – though where I would be delighted to see an end to religious faith – in the public sphere, at least – Alex, as a student of theology in London, holds rather an oppositional point of view. This is the second of … Continue reading »


On the whole, my points of disagreement with New Statesman journalist Laurie Penny are numerous, but in late April I thought she was absolutely spot-on when, ahead of the wedding of William and Kate, she attacked the United Kingdom’s ‘retro’ culture as “a fantasy of lost Britishness”, and pointed out that “the accumulation of cultural … Continue reading »