As preparations continue for this year’s Tynwald Day, for which the theme is very much one of art and creativity, celebrated local artist Svetlana Cameron is already working on a project for Tynwald Day 2014.
Braddan resident and Sayle Gallery artist Mrs Cameron, who was commissioned by the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald in 2011 to paint portraits of two former Speakers of the House of Keys, Mr David Cannan and Mr Tony Brown, is creating a series of paintings celebrating the spectacle and pageantry at St John’s on the island’s national day.
She has recently completed a painting, Laa Tinvaal, of the front green featuring Manx dancers, the crowds and dignitaries with Tynwald Hill in the background and is planning to create several more Tynwald Day-inspired paintings that will capture key moments of the ceremony and focus on the main participants.
Mrs Cameron said: ‘I came to live in the Isle of Man eight years ago and soon became very interested in Manx dancers, the colour, vibrancy and symbolism of their dress and the obvious joy they experience when performing.
‘Until 2012 I had never been to a Tynwald Day ceremony, but that year I was delighted to be invited by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office to attend the formal proceedings then witness the many performances on the front green. To be part of the ceremony with its ages-old significance and tradition was a privilege and very uplifting. I came home that evening with a whole series of paintings in my mind through which I wanted to recreate the unique atmosphere of Tynwald Day.’
She said photographs and film footage from the event provided by the Tynwald Information Service had served as her first reference points with which to establish the composition for Laa Tinvaal. ‘With this painting I wanted to capture the movement and celebratory mood of the occasion,’ she explained, adding that the work was a departure from her usual portraiture style where subjects were, in the main, ‘static’.
She added: ‘2014 is the Year of Culture in the Isle of Man and, given that Tynwald Day celebrates every cultural aspect of Manx life, it would be the time when I would hope to exhibit the paintings.’
Meanwhile, as plans are being finalised for this year’s Tynwald Day, it has been confirmed the BBC will be streaming live coverage of the event and that Isle of Man Bus and Rail has agreed its July 5th schedule which will see a service departing St John’s at 23:15. For more information visit iombusandrail.info or telephone the Welcome Centre bus information line, 662525.
Mrs Cameron will be exhibiting Laa Tinvaal, together with two more of her paintings, at the Tynwald Library from July 1st to July 19th, 2013. The exhibition will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.