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REPORTING · 13th February 2014
Walter McFarlane
There is a new exhibit at the Kitimat Museum and Archives. Maria Miranda Lawrence opened ‘À Janela – The Poetic Soul’ which consists of both paintings inspired by music and poetry, most of which can be found in her book of the same title, which she was also promoting.

“This resulted from a series that I worked on called À Janela, it’s a Portuguese word for: At the Window. I collaborated with Portuguese singers and song writers and also Portuguese Poets that were award winning,” said Lawrence.

She applied for a grant and was sponsored by the Azorean Government to bring the work to São Muigel, Azores in 2011, where she was born. When this tour was done, she printed a book of her artwork.

Lawrence selected 12 Fado singers to inspire her work. She explained Fado is a form of Portuguese Blues music, which relates to longing and missing someone. It also relates to the ocean, as the Portuguese people are known for their seafarers. Two of the writers created works for Lawrence’s book.

Lawrence told us it was during a cultural exchange tour of São Muigel 9 years ago where she worked with 17 musicians and poets. It was during this time where she painted a picture of a two girls looking out a window. A poet saw it and told her it reminded him of a poem he had written. Her book includes his poetry.

“Everyone seemed to like my theme so much, because À Janela, the window, is kind of a metaphor for life and I decided I wanted to do much more. All my subjects are posed by a window, beside it, looking out, looking in and I was able to keep that consistent throughout the book,” said Lawrence.

The book launched in Vancouver with an exhibit and concert. Lawrence hopes her show will travel to Toronto, Powell River and Mainland Portugal.