Sylvia’s Garden, 2012

Kyle L. Poirier, Sylvia’s Garden, 2012
acrylic on canvas, 10 x 10 in.
$100.00 plus $11.00 shipping and handling within Canada.
SOLD! To a very nice person.

One of the most interesting places I went to see on my visit to England years ago was where my lovely wife went to university. She lived in an old, neo-Jacobian influenced mansion, built in the 1880s, that was revisioned into a dormitory sometime after the second world war. It was classic, complete with endless ivy growing up the brick exterior… if only we had more architecture like that here.

At one point in it’s history, Charles Burch Crisp owned this magnificent manor and he built a little garden, just past the main gardens. It was built in commemoration of his daughter Sylvia’s birth.

Sylvia’s Garden became an ideal location for many theatrical productions by the drama students. My wife even co-directed a live production of Shakespeare’s, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, which I was fortunate enough to see on an old VHS copy that she still has. I can imagine art students felt at home there as well. I could sit and sketch for hours, there was so much character in the place to capture.

One thing that was missing, when I visited, was the statue depicted in the painting. I worked that back in from an old photo my wife took during her time there. The scale of the statue is not an accurate representation, it was much smaller than how I decided to paint it. Unfortunately I don’t know much else about the statue that used to be there, except many people apparently used it to photograph themselves, standing behind it and placing their own head in place of the original. If anyone else can shed some light on the statue, I would love to hear about it.

In the meantime, I like to think, perhaps, it was Sylvia.