"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Art inspired by Elizabeth Bishop

If you read my earlier post about the Elizabeth Bishop birthday party, which was held this year on 12 February, you might remember that I mentioned being overwhelmed by a generous gesture of support by many friends, both near and far, overwhelmed by a gesture of support that had a direct, tangible and practical impact in my daily life. The gratitude I feel for this support is beyond words, though I have tried to express some of it directly to each person who participated in this group effort. Another lovely part of this gift came from the wonderful painter Susan Tooke, when she presented me with a painting of the Elizabeth Bishop House which she had done en plein air during the “Paint Great Village” weekend that took place on 5-6 June 2012. Paintings from this weekend (including the one Susan gave to me) were exhibited in Truro, N.S., in July-August 2012 and in Great Village, N.S, during the Elizabeth Bishop Arts Festival from 19-21 August 2012. I wanted to share an image of this lovely painting with you. You can see more of Susan’s amazing art on her website: www.susantooke.com. Thanks so Susan Kerslake for this picture.

Elizabeth Bishop House, painting by Susan Tooke

Another exciting development concerns the wonderful composer John Plant – an American whose home is now in Head of Jeddore, N.S. John was actively involved in the EB100 celebrations: he composed fabulous settings of three Bishop poems for Suzie LeBlanc, “Sandpiper,” “Sunday 4 A.M.” and “In the Middle of the Road,” Bishop’s translation of a Carlos Drummond de Andrade poem. "Sandpiper" was performed at the Scotia Festival of Music in June 2012. "Sunday 4 A.M." and "In the Middle of the Road" were premiered at a finale concert for EB100 in Great Village in early October 2012. John has just launched a new website, www.johnplantmusic.com, and I wanted to let our readers know about it, in part because he has posted audio and visual recordings of the Elizabeth Bishop pieces – but for the most part because all of John’s work is exquisite and inspiring.

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