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

Friday, May 1, 2020

Two Arts -- EBSNS Virtual Exhibit 2020 -- Part 1



From the time Natallia Pavaliayeva, from Minsk, Belarus, connected with the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia in 2015, sending the first of her many charming, whimsical and expressive drawings, she generously offered them to the society to use in any way it desired, to help raise funds. The EBSNS created a fridge magnet that became highly popular and sent them all over the world (we sold out of them a few years ago).

(the magnet image)

From the beginning, the EBSNS wanted to mount an exhibit of some of Natallia’s images and finally, in late 2019, decided it was possible and began to organize the exhibit to coincide with the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Then covid-19 hit the world in mid-March and brought in strict public health measures, which forced the EBSNs to cancel the AGM. Still, the society wanted to present Natallia’s images and decided on a virtual exhibit through this blog and its Facebook page. Over the course of the next several weeks, background to the exhibit and the images themselves will be posted on both sites. The society hopes its members and the wider audience will take time to look at these posts as they proceed.

It was a difficult task to select only twelve images, but the ideas of “home” and “journey” anchored the selection. Bishop once said that the poet carries home inside, and her sense of home was comprised in large part of elements and memories of Great Village and her childhood. She also began her life-long journey, which took her to many places in Europe and South America, from her homes in Nova Scotia and New England. Most of the drawings chosen connect to her Nova Scotia poems, with a couple of Brazil images to add a southern perspective.

With these two ideas and the dialectic between image and word, Natallia has given this exhibit the title: “Two Arts,” with a nod to Bishop’s most famous poem, “One Art.”

The next post will be Natallia’s Artist’s Statement. Then an interview will follow. After this background we will present her images in the format as we would have hung them in the real world, if that had been possible, that is, photographs of the framed prints. Natallia is generously allowing the EBSNS to sell prints of these images and full information about this fund-raiser will also be forthcoming, once all the images have been presented. Keep checking in!

P.S. We have tweaked the look of the main page of the blog, putting the separate pages in a list on the right-hand side of the page, rather than in a banner on the top. We've added a "Two Arts" page where all the posts related to the exhibit will be collected, so you can check there as well, to see all the posts that will be coming in the next several weeks.

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