Evensong Light

The Hermitage has been greatly enhanced by a sublimely beautiful painting by Nina Waters, entitled “Evensong Light”, painted at Caritas Christi studio. Nina is currently Artist in Residence at the Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew (Victoria) as part of the St Vincent’s Artist in Residence Program.
evening light
The painting inspires me think of that superb song by the English composer, Henry Purcell (1659-1695), “Evening Hymn”, sung most beautifully by Emma Kirkby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjc0qug-1NQ
evening hymn
“Now, now that the sun hath veil’d his light
And bid the world goodnight;
To the soft bed my body I dispose,
But where shall my soul repose?
Dear, dear God, even in Thy arms,
And can there be any so sweet security!
Then to thy rest, O my soul!
And singing, praise the mercy
That prolongs thy days.”

“Evening Hymn” was the opening work of Henry Playford’s 1688 collection “Harmonia Sacra or, Divine Hymns and Dialogues: with a thorough-bass for the Theorbo-Lute, Bass-Viol, Harpsichord, or Organ. Composed by the Best Masters of the last and Present Age. The Words by several Learned and Pious Persons”, and sets words by Dr. William Fuller [1608–1675], “late Lord-Bishop of Lincoln”, included in a collection of moralizing poems for children “Miscellanea Sacra, or, Poems on divine & moral subjects”(1696) published by Nahum Tate [1652-1715]: see http://toddtarantino.com/hum/purcell_eveninghymn.html
For Nina’s work, see http://www.gallery247.com.au/nina-waters

The Artist in Residence program is a wonderfully innovative and creative contribution to the work of the Caritas Christi Hospice:
“The Artist in Residence program incorporates eight studio spaces at Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew. The program offers artists a year-long studio residency in exchange for a selection of art works donated to the hospital art collection. A number of studies have shown clear and reliable evidence that clinical outcomes for patients have been achieved through the intervention of the arts, particularly in cancer care, intensive care, surgery and mental health.
Arts have been found to induce positive physiological and psychological changes in clinical outcomes, reduce drug consumption, shorten length of stay in hospital and promote better doctor-patient relationships.
The introduction of arts in mental healthcare helps patients to find ways of self-expression and acts as a vehicle for establishing communication with other individuals.
The use of the arts in mental health services also brings about behavioural changes in mental health users: patients become more calm, attentive and collaborative. These changes help in the everyday managing of a mental health service, diminishing the need for medication and physical restraint.
caritas view
Visual art and music have been used in a number of studies addressing high anxiety and depression during chemotherapy. The arts were effective in reducing both anxiety and depression, and also assisted in averting side-effects of the treatment.”
evensong church
That “Evensong Light” came out of this wonderful program adds greatly to its significance for The Hermitage.


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