Bestiaries explained, incredible illuminated books of hours, library cats from 1000 years ago and more...
First outing due end May at Westmount One.
I tried my hand at 'illuminating' the exquisite poem Pangur Ban (means 'white cat') written by an Irish monk in honor of the library cat circa 950 AD - my work below. Original poem written in Old Irish, this my preferred translation...the last verse nails it.
It's just over a year since my first and I'm very proud of "LizPresents" as it is today. Every showing has been an affirmation of what I do and how I do it.
Some background: Although I promote my presentations as "light" they are in fact targeted to an audience that is alert, curious, knowledgeable and totally aware. In essence they educate and inform..and because I enjoy the subjects, they also happen to be fun. It's the way I like to present.
Any audience would appreciate them, it is incidental that I present them to seniors' residences. However, what does make them appropriate for this arena is that they are so fully supported visually, making the story or the information easy to absorb...and my voice is clear and good listening - so those who cannot focus fully still draw great pleasure from what they see and hear.
The material is solid, all of it researched in depth...it just happens that I seek out facts that are both intriguing and amusing. And present them the way I do.
It's a format that has proven successful at every presentation over the past 18 months. I watch the audience and can see how intent and rapt they are whilst I'm presenting**. And afterwards the comments I receive always overwhelm: "wonderful", "riveting" and "amazing" are the words used.
The strong visual format helps: in an hour-long show, slides average 2/minute. Items highlighted within a slide use a separate slide for the highlight, which is far far more effective than pointers or lasers. Plus I'll push the envelope a bit, bend the rules to bring the art alive - not regard it on bended knee - and ask the audience to follow me in wondering WHY (if it's a painting) the artist chose to paint what he did, and lead them to a sub-story, the facts behind the facts - because those stories are always the best...and the most fascinating.
And always the subject and the piece of art are put in context: for whatever is being presented its strength, power and meaning comes from relating it to the events at the time the artwork was created, what it meant to people of that era, its significance to them, and why that particular artist chose to portray it as he did. Always, always a story to make the art come alive.
The greyhound was a recent subject. The segment lasted about 10 minutes. It reviews the greyhound's origins - from cave art to the side of a greyhound bus - presenting the mystique, value, symbolism and importance of the greyhound to man, the association with nobility and purity and why greyhounds appear in art so often, notably in religious works. About REAL greyhounds also, two from the past who were owned by significant people, the story of their relationship, and why these greyhounds were so beloved.
My style is my own. Each presentation is a work of art in itself. I love what I do, what I am presenting...and I seem able to pass on my enthusiasm and passion to the audience. It's a win win situation. They enjoy a fascinating hour, some of it emotional, and I - I go home happy and begin planning my next.
**inevitably there are one or two who fall asleep!
*New topics and content are constantly being researched and new presentations developed. Topics in-the-works include spring (the season), mother's day and - perhaps - father's day. For each of these, there are a million stories to be told. *If you wish to have a particular theme developed, please contact me at least 2 months in advance.
At West One, Feb 12th A magazine of video, poetry and stories...and a little bit of theatre too! The whole, not overtly sentimental but a journey through the joy of love as we - people - share and experience it.
Some of the items and poetry readings were in the form of videos, two were written and produced by self. The final item, a single poem not to a person, to Jenny...a poem only suggesting what she is, never mentioning her form or name - it drew a soft murmur of contented 'ahs'!
From there it faded to a close and Nat King Cole singing "When I fall in love".
Thanks at end overwhelming "it was wonderful" from all, spoken with great sincerity. Perhaps the most significant comment came from one gentleman who, as he left, stopped, looked at me, and softly quoted the words from the last screen...
As ever, "the best ever." The room was full and others came to the door, listened, then crept in and sat down. At the end, there was applause and then a line to thank me, the word most often used "incredible." They were incredible - their enthusiasm floated me home! The content had been polished since this was last presented but the real magic lay in the final chapter, the story of Judy and Frank, above.
Huge thanks to Rhonda...and of course golden Ozzie, who stole many hearts.
Am looking forward to being there again, on Valentine's Day.