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Tynwald Library to host solo exhibition by acclaimed portrait artist

The Tynwald Library is to host a solo exhibition by acclaimed portrait artist Svetlana Cameron from June 28 to July 22.

The exhibition, Laa Tinvaal, will feature paintings inspired by some of the key elements of the celebrations and formal proceedings of Tynwald Day.  The work from which the exhibition takes its name depicts a scene with Manx dancers, the crowds and dignitaries, with Tynwald Hill in the background; the painting inspired a portrait of one of the young female Manx dancers, which will also be displayed. Another in the series shows The Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Rt Rev Robert Paterson MA MLC, in the parish church of Saint John the Baptist in his convocational robes holding the diocesan crozier.

The exhibition will also provide the first opportunity for members of the public to view two new portraits in the series, one of the President of Tynwald, the Hon Clare Christian, captioning the new Acts of Tynwald in the Church of St John, the other of the former Lieutenant Governor His Excellency Mr Adam Wood, inspecting the Guard of Honour.

Alongside the Tynwald Day paintings will be Mrs Cameron’s portraits of Mr Tony Brown and Mr David Cannan as former Speakers of the House of Keys.

Mrs Cameron said: ‘In creating the Laa Tinvaal series I wanted to depict both the festive and the formal aspects of Tynwald Day - the colours, the pageantry, the different moods, and the sense of celebration and tradition. In short, I wanted to tell the story of the Island’s national day.

‘I see the captioning ceremony as the culmination of the formal proceedings. To create the portrait I took many photographs of the interior of the church and was fortunate to be able to borrow the President’s robes from Tynwald. Madam President kindly sat for me on two occasions and also provided her Archibald Knox inkwell for me to include in the setting. I feel the portrait has, perhaps, an added significance in that it is of the first female President of Tynwald.’

‘The Guard of Honour painting shows the then Lieutenant Governor and members of the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment in a composition that portrays the formality of the occasion yet with a light touch.

‘Tynwald Day is a visual feast and while the paintings are all very different, there is a continuity to the series in that they capture the most important moments. I hope the exhibition will invite curiosity and provide an insight into this most important of days for the Isle of Man.’

The Laa Tinvaal series and the two Speakers’ portraits are also to form part of Russian-born Mrs Cameron’s first major solo exhibition in London of works drawn from private and public collections. The exhibition will be at the Russian Culture House, Kensington, from October 14 to October 31.

Laa Tinvaal at the Tynwald Library will run from June 28 to July 22. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

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Pictured is Svetlana Cameron’s work Laa Tinvaal

Published - 25/05/2016