artist's statement on
all things bright and beautiful
All Things Bright and Beautiful, was written by Cecil
Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and
originally published in her 1848 book, Hymns
for Little Children. This simple
poem has not only become a standard hymn sung by many denominations to the
traditional hymn tune, Royal Oak, arranged in 1915 by Martin Shaw, but has also
been the inspiration for thousands of other artistic endeavors.
Royal Oak has been arranged for everything imaginable: cell phone, choir,
piano, organ, hand bells, elementary bands, brass bands, calliope, harp,
harmonica, guitar, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba chorus, and more.
The words have been set to hundreds of other tunes, most notably by Monk.
Perhaps the most famous artistic expression is James Herriotís book of
the same name, but there are also paintings, stained glass windows, childrenís
books, stencils, topiary, cross stitch, birdhouses,
crafts, DVDís, two movies, and thousands of websites.
collection of photographs, I am calling photo-hymnody, I am not attempting to
illustrate the hymn, but rather to express its meaning through photography. The
idea that this world is bright and beautiful has provided an abundance of
images. Some of these images have been selected from the thousands I have taken
through the years for other purposes, but many have been prepared specifically
for this exhibit. In some cases I
have sought out scenes that I imagined while singing the hymn over and over.
Some required that I return to the site day after day, week after week to
obtain the illumination I had seen in my mindís eye.
Some sprang upon me as I hiked through the mountains or along a stream.
All of them speak to me of the unimaginable beauty of this world and of
our duty to attempt to protect it for future generations.
I hope that
you enjoy viewing these images and that at least one of them sings to you!
all pages and all images Copyright © 2000-2009 Michael Cassidy all rights reserved