Ah yes, me too. And skylarks – I love hearing their never-ending song of joy somewhere, high in the sky above Kippure. So, when Olivier Cornet asked us to respond to the poem Élévation by Charles Baudelaire, for his themed exhibition at VUE, I think I knew immediately what I wanted to do.
VUE is Ireland’s annual Contemporary Art Fair and it opens tonight, the 3rd of November at the RHA Gallery in Dublin. It’s not only the Dublin galleries, of course – there’ll be eighteen of Ireland’s top contemporary art galleries there, all vying for your attention and promoting their own particular strands of contemporary art.
But I think that the Olivier Cornet Gallery’s show will be special this year, the exhibition inspired by Baudelaire’s poem, looks really enthralling. The poem is about aspirations and ideals, and the notion of rising above the trials and tribulations of this troubled world… Goodness knows we could do with some of that these days, wouldn’t you say?
I include an English translation of the poem below, by William Aggeler. As you can see above, I’ve been working on a pair of paintings for the show, the smaller one is entitled: “Vale of Tears”. You might’ve seen the sky one before… I’m not sure if it’s going to be a vertical diptych or just two separate pieces… any thoughts?
Above the lakes, above the vales,
The mountains and the woods, the clouds, the seas,
Beyond the sun, beyond the ether,
Beyond the confines of the starry spheres,
My soul, you move with ease,
And like a strong swimmer in rapture in the wave
You wing your way blithely through boundless space
With virile joy unspeakable.
Fly far, far away from this baneful miasma
And purify yourself in the celestial air,
Drink the ethereal fire of those limpid regions
As you would the purest of heavenly nectars.
Beyond the vast sorrows and all the vexations
That weigh upon our lives and obscure our vision,
Happy is he who can with his vigorous wing
Soar up towards those fields luminous and serene,
He whose thoughts, like skylarks,
Toward the morning sky take flight
Who hovers over life and understands with ease
The language of flowers and silent things!
From The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
The official opening of VUE is tonight, from 6 – 8pm and it continues until Sunday, the 6th of November. Entry is free. More details at the links below.