|Hail Poetry, Section 1, Copyright 2015 Hirschten|
|Hail Poetry, Section 2, Copyright 2015 Hirschten|
|Hail Poetry, Section 3, Copyright 2015 Hirschten|
|Hail Poetry, Section 4, Copyright 2015 Hirschten|
Each panel is Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 36"
"Hail, poetry, thou heaven-born maid!
Thou gildest in the pirates trade.
Hail, flowing fount of sentiment.
All hail, all hail, divine emollient."
-Gilbert and Sullivan
This set of paintings highlights a section of music from Gilbert and Sullivan's musical, The Pirates of Penzance. For me this is a stunningly divine piece of music laced with humorous truth about how grace holds a place even in the hearts of pirates. An emollient is a lubricant used to keep a machine running smoothly. So poetry is what keeps our lives well-oiled and flowing.
Here is a YouTube video of the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZqgwJacJMY
The idea of translating music into visual form is not a new one. Many artists such as Kandinsky and Marc Chagall have done this. I am developing a set of exercises for the art classroom based on this idea.
Yet can we truly translate one art form into another? One function of every art form whether it is music, painting, sculpture, writing, dance or whatever is to communicate the the viewer. Often we are communicating emotions through symbols, color or sound in a way that is not possible with words. Each art language has special power. We can take on the challenge of translating these forms, but some of the nuance will be lost in translation.
This painting has many symbols including a section from the pirate Blackbeard's flag: