By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
Ophelia. I met her summer of 2017.
I sat there and was absolutely enthralled by this Long Islander. I kept staring at her. That beautiful silver hair and those eyes…those eyes.
No, we did not meet in person. However, while visiting The National Art Gallery, West Hill Street on a lazy, warm Sunday, we met. I did not want to leave the space. The stunning works by French artist, Theirry Lamare, kept me cemented for the longest time in front of this particular painting of Ophelia.
I think she is BEAUTIFUL! But beyond her physical beauty, I connected with her through those eyes. I wonder what her thoughts were at that very moment. Observe the crevices in her neck and face. The details are remarkable! A hard life, but an accomplished life. There’s no doubt that having lived 93 years (she passed away in 2015), this resident of Seymour’s, Long Island, was a treasure trove of knowledge.
I wish you could see the other paintings that lined the walls. The work of Lamare is extraordinary! Fifteen years of her life came alive under dim lights in what almost seemed like a sacred space. Art pieces of the industrious, phenomenal elderly woman from burning weed and digging the land, to crabbing were breathtakingly stunning. The intimate portraits that surrounded me traced the simplicity of island life, through the hard work of this matriarch. I was fascinated by what I saw….her life enshrined in paintings. But there’s something different about this photo of Ophelia. I just connected with it…with her.
Rest in peace Ophelia. There’s something extraordinary about you.
NB – I complied with the gallery’s rule of no photo taking; hence, the photo above was not taken while visiting. I was able to download it from the artist’s website. And interestingly, it was in the SOLD PAINTINGS section. Not surprised! Ophelia will have a spot in someone’s home or office.