Daphne Richardson watercolor

Forum for collectors and traders' of Leonard Cohen's music and poetry.
wild1
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:15 pm

Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby wild1 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:38 pm

My wife and I have a watercolor which was done in the 1970's, left to us by a dear friend who was a psychiatrist specializing in art therapy. The painting is signed by Daphne Richardson, and it reflects the skil level of an experienced hand. We are not certain it is the same Daphne whose artwork is on LC's album cover, but it is very likely that it is. We would like to find a way to determine that it is the same artist. Any ideas?
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby neo » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:32 pm

Is the signature similar to the handwriting of the record cover? Is there any way that you can find out if Daphne Richardson had been in contact with your friend.
You could post a low res picture of the painting here too. Maybe there are some experts in here who know more about Daphne Richardson...
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby tomsakic » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:49 pm

It probably is - only info I heard about Daphne Richardson of Live Songs art is that she was psychiatric patient who sent that drawing to LC in an envelope (as a fan letter - I don't think he knew her personaly), and that she died in an asylum or something like that. According to your information, it is probably the same artist. Any input appreciated!
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby neo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:29 pm

Ira B. Nadel writes in Various Positions that Daphne Richardson was exchanging letters with Cohen for some years. She committed suicide jumping off the roof of the Bush House-clinic in London. (I guess it was in 1973) In her suicide note she mentioned Cohen.
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby tomsakic » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Yeah, my knowledge about her is also from Nadel.
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby neo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:52 pm

The conversation at this point turned to Leonard's experience of singing to patients in mental hospitals. He believes that it is good for a band to play free concerts and he has done a lot of this work in Canada.

ZZ: Do you see yourself then as an entertainer or as a therapist?

LC: I have a lot of admiration for the professional point of view. I think a therapist should be an entertainer. Whatever you are you should be an entertainer first. If you're going to present yourself to people they have to be entertained. Their imagination has to be engaged and they have to enter into the vortex of imagination and relaxation and suspense that is involved in entertainment.

ZZ: I'm thinking that if you go into a group of people and then you go away from it, perhaps without any measure of supervision, it might be difficult. Or would you expect the professional staff to take part in the entertainment as well and then to be able, perhaps to catch up anything that happened as a result of your work with them? It would be a very fleeting visit, wouldn't it?

LC: It just takes a tiny moment to receive a scar. It can be with you for the rest of your life. Similarly I think the things that touch us-- I don't know incidentally if I'm one of these people, I'm just in a tradition -- I'm probably just like a ninth rate operator in a great tradition. I also have very clear ideas about where I stand in a great tradition. The kind of healing that goes with song or with art or whatever you care to mention is almost impossible to talk about because it happens to one person in an audience. Something out of the work touches them in some way. In any ordinary audience also. Some connection is made. I don't think it's anything that all but the most sensitive doctor or worker could ever pick up on. And certainly, not guaranteed that it will happen to very many people. Mostly it's just entertainment for an evening. To get through the night.

ZZ: I just wonderer whether possibly it might not be rather frightening and alarming if this particular spark did happen to strike and you were there, and then you'd gone and whatever had happened wouldn't have been supported by your presence again. And this is something that could really destroy what little bit of strength they had.

LC: I agree with you. I agree with you. This certainly happens outside of the hospitals, if you're dealing, as I do with a certain kind of material. It happens to even the most casual of pop singers, you don't have to be dealing with very rarified or specialized material. Every singer has had this experience. Tom Jones has it. The people start to see the work as having a special kind of healing or visionary element and they assume that you are the master and the creator and the engineer of this bomb, this unguent, this healing substance, and somehow that contact with you will guarantee the cure. They come forward in a certain kind of way through letter or through the person and of course they are doomed to disappointment and after all of course the artist himself can't function in the capacity of a healer, in a professional sense. So it does, as you say, often throw people into states of mind that are difficult. I had this happen just a couple of days ago. Did you see that girl John? That black girl? Her manuscript called "A Pyramid of Suffering" is a document of suffering.

John Miller: Where were you in it?

LC: All through it. References to my songs. She is a mental patient.

ZZ: How about Daphne Richardson whose letter you had on the back of the Live album. Could you say something about her, because this seems possibly to tie in with this area.

LC: I knew her first of all through the mails. I try to read everything I get and I was struck by the power of her communications. She was at that time trying to get published a book of poems that were very experimental and were collage poems. And they weren't by any means inept. They were highly skilled. They were a collage of Dylan, myself and her own work. And Dylan wouldn't give her permission to publish his work in scraps. And I did. I entered into this communication with her. I knew there was an edge to her letters that was so fanatic and so intense that she would experience great floods of disturbance. On the other hand, there was something about her mind that I found immensely attractive and delightful. Then her story started to emerge. She sent me long, long letters and books that she'd written to me and of course there were these excessive kinds of letters that she would write to me that she wanted to come and stay with me or, -- you know. On the other hand, her doctors and the people in her hospitals that she would come in and out of - they didn't believe that she was in communication with me at all. They thought that this was a complete pipedream. So she was living a completely strange sort of life. They were strapping her down and that sort of thing and she would say, "Leonard Cohen, I'm going to be working on his book." I said, "I'd like you to illustrate my book," - she was a very fine draughtsman - and I had intended her to illustrate my last book, The Energy of Slaves. She'd be screaming at the doctors, "You've got to let me out I'm illustrating Leonard Cohen's next book." I did go over on my last tour and we arranged to meet and I met her for the first time and she was a very attractive girl in her thirties, and really nice and of a style and bearing that was very close to people that I know. I knew she had experience in mental hospitals. We arranged to do this book together and I looked at more of her drawings and I was very impressed. Then I went back to America. And it was just one period when I was out of touch with my correspondence and I came to this correspondence and I found telegrams and letters saying, "Please help. I've been put away again, they won't believe me. I need your help, please help." I got on the phone to my agent in London and I said, "Get ahold of Daphne right away, she's in trouble. I'm already late, it's a month since these telegrams had come." I said, "Tell her that the work on the book is on and I want her to start these illustrations. I'll get the manuscript to her."

And she'd just committed suicide three days before.

I was just too late.

Another three weeks or a week or anything. She was just holding on to this kind of activity.

ZZ: Yes, I can see that.

LC: She mentioned me in her suicide note. It was horrible.

ZZ: Why did you put it on the back of the record?

LC: Oh she always wanted to be published. She couldn't get anyone to publish her. The letter was to me. There was a book she wrote to me from the mental hospital. I tell you it was shattering. A testimony of pain, I've never read anything like it.

JM: What's the difference between that and the "Pyramid of Suffering"?

LC: Very close, but a suffering that is not enlightened. Daphne was like somebody sitting in this room. She was completely aware. There were no blank spots. She was not a compulsive or an obsessive kind of person. She went into pain that was so overwhelming that she couldn't function. But she always knew where she was and what she was doing. This girl is like under it - it's really a pyramid - that's a beautiful description of where she is. She's buried under a pyramid of suffering like there is no other. Daphne, however, had a sense of humour. She was attractive. She was a much more attractive figure. Warm. This girl was insane. The black girl was insane. There was no question about that. Daphne was...I really blew that. I felt bad about that.

But you're right, and it's made me much...the point that you just very delicately suggested that I ought not to meddle around with these things if I'm not going to be there day after day to really follow through. I really feel that way now.


I just found this interview online where Cohen talks about Daphne Richardson.
http://www.webheights.net/speakingcohen/zigzag.htm
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby tomsakic » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:12 pm

Thanks, neo. Marie's website is a treasure.

It reminds me on the talk we had here few years back, because of Henry Moscovitch references in the Book of Longing - how LC was always attached and attractive to doomed poets who mostly comitted suicide or went into some kind of mental disorder - from Steve Smith (to whom Beatiful Losers are dedicated), and Henry Moscovitch, to Philip Tetrault (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZmi3BDSEM8).
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby neo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:55 pm

Thank you for the link tomsakic! I didn't know that one.
Well the related videos tok me to that one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lLvAyJt ... re=related he makes some very interesting remarks about depression...
("That's an interesting concept a victory over suffering..." I can understand that being interviewed by someone like that can make you depressive... :( )
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby neo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:16 am

Some more news about Daphne Richardson viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23566
What sad religions they want us to believe.
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Daphne Richardson watercolor

Postby tomsakic » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:19 pm

Again on this topic (never ceased to interest me): 2007 blog: http://redaphnerichardson.blogspot.com/ ... rdson.html

Return to “Collectors' and Traders' Corner”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest