Visionary Flowers, by Nancy Watkins - 18 February to 6 April 2013
The Keats-Shelley House
18 February to 6 April 2013
Chalices of light, star flowers, flowers of fire, mirages, arabesques and other wondrous flowers form a fantastical garden: the Visionary Flowers exhibit features the original grattage tablets of these drawings, published in Nancy Watkins's most recent book, Il fiore è un'idea, with rhymed legends by Lucio Persio (Il Labirinto, 2012).
The artworks have a clear thematic affinity with the extraordinary catalogue of flowers in Shelley's poem, 'The Question'. Likewise, their special technique - radiance erupting from the pitch-black of the ink - finds a singular parallel to the poem's instantaneous leap from the shadows of winter to refulgent spring, with its dazzling explosion of 'visionary flowers', from which the exhibition takes its title.
Nancy Watkins's artwork been featured on many book and magazine covers, including various editions of poems of Keats, Shelley and Byron. After her 2007 solo show, The Poet's Room, and the 2012 collective, Illustrating Keats, this is the third time that the American artist exhibits at the Keats-Shelley Museum. Born in Chicago, she lives in Rome.
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On Saturday 21 September the town of Viareggio celebrated Percy Bysshe Shelley by unveiling a plaque dedicated to Veturio Paolini, the man who saved the Shelley bronze bust from Nazi destruction during the Second World War. The Shelley monument in Viareggio, which was made by Urbano Lucchesi, was the first non-British public sculpture dedicated to the poet, whose corpse was found nearby the Viareggio beach about ten days after he had drowned off the coast of Leghorn while sailing back to Lerici.The Keats-Shelley House Director Giuseppe Albano, who attended the ceremony and delivered a speech about Percy and Mary Shelley, would like to thank Mr Piernello Martelli, Ms Cristina Chiantelli and all the other people who organized what turned out to be a remarkable event. ...