In concert

I love the way artists of different artforms and genres draw inspiration from each other in the creation of new works, adaptations, reinventions, collaborations. Think of the many paintings inspired by Tennyson’s poem (itself drawn from Arthurian legend) ‘The Lady of Shallot’; a print of probably the most famous, by John William Waterhouse, adorns the wall of my studio. My car playlist includes a musical interpretation by Loreena McKennitt. And there is a potent intertextuality, at the levels of direct reference, metaphor and theme, between the poem and one of my favourite novels, Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson.

Art, sculpture, dance, music, poetry and film have fed into my own writing in various ways, and I have been thrilled on the occasions when something I have written has influenced the creation of new art by others. The Sinkings, for example, inspired an art installation by South West artist Annette Davis. Film company Factor 30 has optioned the novel for development as a six-part TV series, so it might find its way to the screen someday.

The story ‘Paris bled into the Indian Ocean’ (published in Inherited), inspired by the brilliant impressionist artist Kathleen (Kate) O’Connor, gave its name to a spectacular exhibition of paintings by Fremantle artist Jo Darvall, which in turn, in a circuitous way, led to my work of creative non-fiction, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris.

And now, I’m beyond excited that Perth Symphony Orchestra is staging a concert featuring music reflecting Kate’s life and times, interspersed with extracts from Kathleen O’Connor of Paris and images of Kate’s work.

I can’t help thinking that Kate, so enchanted with artistic culture of all kinds, would love this kind of collaboration.

Art & Music: The Life & Art of Kathleen O’Connor will be presented at the Art Gallery of Western Australia on 30 June and 1 July, 7.30pm. Tickets available here.


Filed under Events, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris

6 responses to “In concert

  1. What fantastic news, Amanda. I am not a bit surprised that your writing has inspired other artists and artworks. Now, if you can just get one of your works referenced by “Bluey”, you will know you’ve arrived. In the meantime, a big bellowing Bravo!

  2. Susan Midalia

    That sounds fabulous, Amanda! I will be there … XX

  3. By coincidence, I was just thinking of your book about Kathleen O’Connor today… I was chatting with friends about our trip to NZ and an art exhibition of the modernist Frances Hodgkins that we’d seen there ….so of course I took the opportunity to plug your book on my travel blog, and I always think of that when I remember that day in their gallery!

    • Thank you, Lisa! Kate and Frances Hodgkins were friends at one point, and Kate helped her set up a studio in Montparnasse, but the elderly irascible Kate was (probably unfairly) not always charitable in some of her memories of Frances! I admire them both for their work and for their dedication as career artists in spite of poverty and the privileging of male artists. Neither of them had an easy time of it.

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