Posts Tagged ‘arts’

a mural on Somerville Avenue

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Well, not really.  A friend hung a large poster print of a photograph I took of 4 maidens in Edwin Abbey’s mural depicting scenes from the search for the Holy Grail.  As I photographed the poster and how it appeared in his home, I began to notice the reflections in the picture frame.

The layering of images, especially in black and white, appeared ghostly to me.

The effect was heightened by some rather moody music playing in the background at a local music festival.

In any case, I hope my friend enjoys his poster.

That poster print and other items are available here.

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I keep reading that Henry Holiday of London was noted for his execution of drapery, i.e. the fall of cloth, around his figurative subjects; that it was a style reminiscent of Dante Rosetti.  I do love the intricate layering of cloth in these scenes from his stained glass window, The Transfiguration (1878), but it is the hands I particularly notice at present.   As promised in an earlier post, here is a bit more about the artist and his creation.

Henry Holiday was born in London in 1839.  His talent for drawing set him on an early artistic path where he would be influenced by Pre-Raphaelites like Burne-Jones, William Morris and Dante Rosetti.  Over time, he would develop his own unique style.  He traveled the world as many an artist of that period did.  Trips to locales like Italy and Egypt influenced his illustration, painting, sculpture and his work with stained glass.  Read more about his diverse interests and artistic expressions in this wikipedia article.

During his lifetime, Holiday did quite a bit of work for American churches, and that’s why I’ve been lucky enough to view and photograph his window, The Transfiguration, at Trinity Church in Copley Square, Boston.

The window depicts a moment described in the New Testament. The basic story is that Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James and John, traveled up a mountain to pray.  There Jesus begins to shine like the sun, his clothes becoming white as snow.  The prophets Moses and Elijah appear at his side and talk with him. Eventually “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. …” (Matthew 17:1-92, Mark 9:1-9; Luke 9:28-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18).”

There are a lot of great resources online about the significance of this moment in Christianity and its various interpretations.  If you’re in Boston’s Back Bay, view Holiday’s window firsthand, especially when the sun is shining bright.  Postcards and prints available in the Trinity Book Shop with shipping available worldwide.

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Based on yesterday’s post, I was asked by a few folks if I went up one more flight of stairs to view the hands of the Sargent murals.  Oh, yes indeed I did.  I did not begin with the Madonna of Sorrows with her silver crown.  With my limited time, I focused first on the prophets.

At the end of my stay, as I focused more on the Madonna of Sorrows, I had to stand close to a young security guard.  Finally I turned to her and asked, “Do you ever get bored?” She smiled and suddenly looked about twelve years old.  She said, “No, ma’am.  Every day I see something new.”

See all of the Sargent murals, in context, via this link.  This is an excellent site as well: http://www.sargentmurals.bpl.org/


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Hands, hands, hands.  I was surprised in preparing this post to discover that I have written about hands quite a bit over the years. Two posts that moved me most were from four years ago, Hands I and Hands II.   Hands stood out again during a recent visit to the Boston Public Library, visiting yet again the room with the Abbey Murals. I’ve photographed the murals often but this time I tried to focus on the hands.

For those new to the murals, in the 1890s Edwin Austin Abbey began a series of 15 wall paintings depicting The Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail (based on a version of the legend by Henry James).  They were installed in 1895.

On the BPL website, you can read a description of the 15 panels and the story they depict.  Given how many shy maidens must have their hands kissed by Sir Galahad …

… and how many babes, swords and various vessels must be borne aloft and so on …

… well, it’s clear why Abbey paid so much attention to the hands of his legendary figures.

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That is this lay person’s interpretation of this image of The Transfiguration of Jesus, a stained glass window in Trinity Church in Copley Square.  It is by Henry Holiday of London.  I hope to share more about the whole window and its maker in the coming month, but meanwhile I can share that I’ve been lucky enough to photograph this center part of the window. It will be available as a postcard in the church’s Book Shop in early October.  Have a good day, folks.

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… they did keep falling gently into the puddles.  The puddles had been formed earlier in the morning when the heavy rains fell.  As the rain eased I decided to see what would happen if I tried to photograph the ripples upon the waters.  Afterwards as I played with brightness, contrast and color, the images  reminded me of a watery universe.  I’m not sure why my mind is in the stars of late, but … I am going to go with the flow and so I have created a temporary gallery pairing these water universe pics with my black sands universe series.  Enjoy. 😉

Like Stars in the Sky Gallery


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Salt, cinnamon, smoky paprika and a few peppercorns.  The best part about adding these seasonings into my black sands universe is that every time I reshape things a wonderful aroma arises.

FYI, here’s another cool site for actual space images:  http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/archive/top100/

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work in progress by artist Zoe Langosy with characters Coyote, Columbine and Harlequin

work in progress by artist Zoe Langosy with characters Coyote, Columbine and Harlequin

Standing silent in the presence of others, while a friend describes the essence of your work?  It can be an illuminating, humbling experience.  That is what happened to me as collage artist Zoe Langosy described what she saw in some of my photographs.  “There are notes of nostalgia.  I am attracted to cut up stuff that has that dark edge. Through her photography Cynthia captures those parts of nature many people don’t see likes cracks in the ice on a frozen pond or the beauty of a dying flower.  Her images can make you stop, feel and reflect.  In her work, as in my own, there is a reminder that there are two sides to life.  That in order to find balance, we sometimes have to suffer.  The sun rises but it also sets and as a part of that arc there’s the dark beauty to be found at twilight.”  Zoe is currently at work on new pieces for upcoming shows.  As always, I’m honored that she has selected one of my images to use in a collage, in this case birch trees photographed near sunset at the Blue Hills Reservation.  The sun-touched bark will help to create the light in Harlequin’s outfit.

Harlequin, Columbine and Coyote are recurring characters in Zoe’s portfolio, androgynous, melancholic and hauntingly beautiful.  The patchwork of Harlequin’s outfit will also include bits of Japanese paper in dark blue with silver details that reminds Zoe of “a moonlit field at night.”  In the end her patchwork will convey a sense that Harlequin is outfitted in nature.

work in progress by artist Zoe Langosy

work in progress by artist Zoe Langosy

Learn more about Zoe’s works in progress and upcoming exhibits by following her on Facebook.  FYI, she will have several of her original pieces on display during NYC Fashion Week in just a few weeks.  Prints of her work (and her father’s) are available on Etsy.  Enjoy.

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Neither of us remembers purchasing it or even receiving it as a gift. So if you did give it to one of us, we both apologize for not remembering. The wind chimes are quite beautiful and the craftsmanship superb.

It surfaced this weekend, found in a bag of “stuff for review,” a bag which then got buried by other bags and dust and such. Someone had carefully wrapped the chimes in a Boston Globe newspaper dated 2008.

It now hangs at the kitchen window. On the inside, not the outside.  Just enough wind comes through so that there is the occasional gentle tinkle.

I am tempted to hang it outside on the oak tree.  I wonder what the red bird would think? 😉

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