VISIONARY REVUE

      Inside the house, we were immediately struck by the cosy atmosphere. Large wooden beams running across the ceiling. A huge fireplace with stone mantlepiece and an iron plaque identicial to one from the Chateau de Blois. Cosy couches around a low wooden table - all facing the fireplace. Hanging from the ceiling over this table, a mirrored glass sphere which reflected everything microcosmically. Long narrow French windows with shutters, some set in a Gothic arch, some in a Romanesque. Between the windows, paintings by Johfra. In particular, a self-portrait with a small scarab. Near it was hanging a metal Byzantine cross with candles (identical to one hanging in Fuchs’ studio in Castel Caramel...)
      Statues of Vishna, Ganesh, and Shiva which Ellen had brought back from India. A large patch of white crystal which Ellen received in exchange for a painting. A small illuminated grotto of amethyst. A shrine to the Buddha. A high-backed wooden mediaeval chair with a tapestried pillow of la Dame a la Licorne.

SELF PORTRAIT
AS FAUN

LA DAME A
LA LICORNE

      Over the door: Johfa’s self-portrait as a satyr. On the wall: his painting of a gryphon. Further down the wall: drawings given as gifts, including a Fuchs engraving of a Horned God. A glass display case with small statues of fairies, gnomes, and sorcerers. A library crowded with books. Near that, a round table with many potted flowers. On the wall here, a portrait of Ellen with a unicorn (and lotus flowers and water lilies). Among the books near the fireplace, a German/Dutch translation of Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour - which Johfra was reading close to his death. My Manifesto...



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

THE
GERRIT LUIDINGA (with a demon on his shoulder)

      We were introduced to Gerrit Luidinga and his wife Emmy. Over dinner and a bottle (of course) of Bergerac wine, we all got to know one another better. Gerrit is very open, direct, lively, and full of boisterous humour - a Falstaffian character. His wife Emmy is beautiful, senstive, intelligent. He writes poetry and she sculpts. He is Johfra’s literary executor and they both collect art as well as organize evenings for artists at their home.
      Ellen radiates with warmth. The charm and beauty of her youth still shine through. She has the wisdom of old age (reminding me at times of my grandmother), but above all she’s an artist - looking, feeling, observing. She’s still open to new experiences (such as meeting us). Now almost eighty, she’s still full of life.
      After dinner, Ellen took us to Galerie la Licorne where we could see her work hanging. Most of these were works she’d done after Johfra’s death. One, of a woman on the beach trying to break free from her pain and regain her joy for life. Another of a vision in an ancient Egyptian setting - of a woman walking down the stairs and encountering another woman looking in a pool. The pool had lotus flowers and the woman on the stairs was also holding a lotus flower.
      After questioniong her, Ellen explained that many of her visions came to her while walking down the stairs.



 
 
 


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