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The Book of Hours/Ours project emerged as a result of curator Cynthia Hawkins’ invitation to have concurrent exhibitions at the Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery at SUNY Geneseo. It came to us during the height of the Covid-19 crisis in New Jersey when we were confined to our small American Bungalow on the side of the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains called First Mountain (20 minutes up the hill from downtown Newark). The bungalow is designed with windows all around that look out on the surrounding landscape. Because of the abrupt end to the activity of our busy lives, we often found ourselves in dialogue with one another while contemplating the beauty of the nature surrounding us. From conversations, we landed on the idea of a joint project rather than separate exhibitions. The title is a play on the Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages called A Book of Hours. Cicely had already embarked on a series of watercolors that were within a larger project called “Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps” (a line from a poem by Pablo Neruda) and she suggested we use the same format for our project. Victor, who does not consider himself a landscape painter nevertheless chose landscape as his subject. The works that comprise the project reference the structure of a printed book that is made up of a “signature” of sixteen pages. Eight works are by Cicely and eight works are by Victor.
Milne Library Publishing
Geneseo, New York
Cottingham, Cicely; Davson, Victor; and Hawkins, Cynthia, "Book of Hours/Ours: Cicely Cottingham I Victor Davson" (2021). Geneseo Authors. 12.