Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nov 12th At West One

Fabulous showing, great audience - thank you everyone!

The program included

*  Video introducing illumination styles

*  an in depth look at Les Tres Riche Heures de Jean, Duc de Berri - one of the most extraordinary manuscripts of the high Middle Ages created between 1410 and 1415.   

The manuscript is first introduced in the video presentation, showing the illumination below which is for the month of April.   As was often depicted for April, it shows young lovers and references the betrothal of Charles, Duc d'Orleans. and Bonne, grand-daughter of the Duc de Berri.

As told in the video, they were betrothed in 1410 when Bonne was but 11*, and married a few years later - shortly before the catastrophe of Agincourt on 25th October 1415 when Charles was captured and then held prisoner in England for 24 years.   A poet, he is said to have written the first known Valentine poem** for his wife Bonne, who died before his return.   A copy of the poem is below.

*The illumination is a stylised 'memory' or 'reference' to the event, thus both Charles and Bonne appear older.  Betrothal at a young age was the norm, especially for those of noble blood.   Charles was only 16 at the time and yet this was already his second betrothal/marriage.   They would not have married until Bonne was 14. 

**Valentine poem to Bonne
written whilst he was a captive of the English
                         with apologies, adapted from the French so as to encompass his intent.
                                       The English version in Google is a very literate translation.

                                               I am worn and ache with love,
                                               My very gentle Valentine,
                                               Since for me you were born too soon,
                                               And I for you was born too late.
                                               God forgive he who has parted
                                               Me from you for this whole year.

                                               I am worn and ache with love,
                                               My very gentle Valentine,
                                               For if then I had foreseen,
                                               Having this my destiny, my sweet,
                                               O, then how much greater love

                                               Wouldst thou have drawn from me.

Elsewhere he wrote of her "Ah! qu'il fait bon regarder, la gracieuse, bonne et belle!" - - "Ah! how good it is to watch her, graceful, kind, and beautiful!"

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oct 23rd at Kensington Place

The Mad & Marvellous World of Medieval Manuscripts

Thank you to Kensington Place for such a fantastic and welcoming audience whose enthusiasm and interest was both inspiring and heartwarming.

The Program included

* a video on Medieval Manuscripts (see Video Links in PAGES segment, upper right)

* slide show presentation

      * a detailed look at both large and very, very small illuminations plus a variety 
        of the outrageous, the fascinating and the exotic.

      * in depth review of one of the earliest European Manuscripts, The Lindisfarne
        Gospels, an extraordinary example of Celtic insular art in a document 
        created ca 700.

Below the Lindisfarne Gospels, and the carpet page from St John's gospel, a superb example of the complex, intertwining designs typical of insular art - a spectacular, swirling mass of 87 birds.  Note one small segment highlighted - and enlarged in the 2nd image;  in the 3rd two birds have been 'extracted' from the mesh of design...and their size compared to...what else?!...a loony.   Note how delicately the fine details of their feet and claws are shown.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Who knew manuscripts could be such fun?

ca 1350 - bas de page illumination
size approx 2 x 3 in

What makes this scene of a couple riding out together
that the horses are clearly in love too!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Coming Soon - Manuscript Critters

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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Senior Moment

Definitely a senior moment!

the hazards of wolves,
everlasting love
other woolly musings:

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Love is...." Feb 2014

NOTE   Appropriate for any time of year.   

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'!  

Poem Video Link

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...


Friday, January 24, 2014

Jan 23 Kensington Place Canines & Felines

Frank Williams with Judy

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.