Sunday, January 8, 2017

Commemoration of the Battle of Jersey 2017.

Walking through town on a damp dreech January, I bumped into head librarian Ed Jewel and as he had never seen it before I suggested we watch the Jersey Militia re-enact the death of Major Pierson at the Battle of Jersey.

Against the muted tones of the Royal Square and below a slate sky of thin mizzle, a big punch of colour, the Jersey Militia shouldered their arms.

A new face was in their ranks. A little drummer girl.

Frank Falle described the battle. A prayer was said. A tableau of John Singleton Copley's painting "The Death of Major Pierson" was reconstructed by willing volunteers and Mrs Crowcroft's artistic eye. Due to the need for flowing locks a woman took the role of the Major.

But it was the little drummer girl who caught the eye and stole the day. 

After a couple of rounds of flintlock volley fire, the troop marched out below the baleful stare of Major Pierson to the sound of the Island's Pipe band.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Paper Dialogues - "Hic Sunt Dracones" - Here be Dragons

Last night the Town Hall hosted a very special event. The opening of "Paper Dialogues".

Two critically acclaimed artists Professor Xiaoguang Quio and Karen Bit Kejle have created large beautiful works of art cut with small scissors from paper.

The exhibition itself has transformed the Town Hall into a unique experience where the viewer is moved from each exhibit with a sequence of lighting and a special composed soundscape.

Paper Dialogues heralds a new era of cultural events that combine artistry and diplomacy in way unseen in Jersey before.

Many thanks should go to Jacquie Rutter, Art teacher at Hautlieu, who first discovered the art work and became passionate about bringing it to Jersey and Tom Dingle who heads up the Jersey Arts Trust. Between them they made it happen.

Senator Ozouf who attended the opening was moved to send the following email.
Dear Murray and Simon

Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Asian cultures, dragons are revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. Associated with wisdom it is often said Dragons are wiser than human and see significantly greater longevity. Dragons around the world are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power.

Last night's transformation of the Town Hall was everything a Dragon is meant to represent. The fusing of Chinese and Norwegian Paper Cutting was itself a fantastic achievement and the result breathtaking. Never before has Jersey let alone the Town Hall seen such an exhibition. More than that the outreach to Schools and the 'Legacy' projects are inspired. But more the fact that this exhibition is securing international acclaim this represents a further welcome boost to Jersey's status as a place of artistic, innovative and economic success.

No-one who visits the Town Hall over the next few weeks will fail to be moved by such brilliant artistic endeavour that those us presence were  delighted to see.

This work helps secure Jersey as a jurisdiction wiling and capable of launching globally significant Art.  It is no exaggeration that this jettisons Jersey as an artistic place in the world, which rivals the best. That can only be good for our image and especially Tourism and visiting Business economy.

Murray (Deputy Norton) you explained how this was made possible by a triumvirate of Government, Finance Sector and Philanthropic funding matched by Simon's enthusiasm from the Parish of St Helier Town Hall.

Tom Dingle and the Arts Trust will I'm sure get recognised by Murray.

However, you both deserve enormous credit for your respective roles and for your remarks made.

They were brilliant.

Equally poignant was the message from the Chinese Cultural Attaché which was personally read by a senior Chinese Embassy official and which  underlines the work that External Relations and Sir Philip has been  quietly getting on with the Chinese Embassy.

A huge dragon bouquet to you both and the partners, which include External Relations.

I hope colleagues won't mind me saying that every minister and member should be encouraged to visit the Town Hall as soon as they can: they will not be disappointed.

Philip Ozouf


My photographs won't do it justice you really need to take a little time out and see for yourself.