Such a lovely surprise…

by Sue Dawson

ALISON AND I, and our two kids Sarah and Jesse, met at Gannon & Benjamin Boat Yard the other evening, all converging there from different places, by car, bus, and on foot. We love the boat yard – especially Alison, who shoots there regularly – but it wasn’t the charm and fascination of sawdust piles, tools, and boats everywhere that brought us to Vineyard Haven. It was a benefit for Partners for Youth with Disabilities, a nonprofit in Boston that offers programs for youth with disabilities and their families. The Managing Director, Dean Bragonier, gave a presentation about this wonderful organization. Dean’s wife, Sally Taylor, performed at the event as part of the band Something Underground, with brothers Seth and Josh Larson.

The surprise is coming (just keep reading) …

For the past two years, Sally Taylor has been running her fascinating project called Consenses, “engaging artists from around the world, of every medium and genre, and bringing them together by asking them to interpret one another’s artwork in the vein of a game of “Telephone” and express it in their own medium. For example: a musician interprets a photograph, a dancer interprets their song, a painter interprets the dance, a perfumer interprets the painting, a poet interprets the perfume and so on until all five senses are represented. In this process, each artist is given seven days to extract the essence of the artwork they are provided and use this work as the catalyst for their own creation, ultimately expressing their raw reactions in the language of their own medium. None of the artists are privy to the identities of the other participants.”

Five of Alison’s photographs were chosen by Sally for Consenses, including this one of a wave at Lucy Vincent Beach:


Our family was SO surprised when Sally introduced a new song, written by Seth and Josh, based on this photo. It’s just beautiful. Brought tears to our eyes (at the end of the song, Sally nodded to Alison and smiled, such a lovely moment)…

Consenses is hosting a Festival of the Senses on the Vineyard, August 18-20 (tickets and info).

Here’s a video of Sally explaining Consenses…

And here’s Sally’s awesome TED talk

8 Responses

  1. Heather Goff says:

    What a beautiful concert.

  2. Patricia Stamp says:

    My workshop with you in 2010 stands out as a hghlight of my photographic life. You may be interested in an event me and my fellow-Heliconians ( this spring in Toronto, which bears some similarity to the Consenses project: a photo art and exhibit with poetry, music and dance speaking to the photographs, entitled Ekphrasis:—an-event-and-exhibition-at-the-heliconian-club.html

  3. Marcy Juran says:

    I had just read about Consenses – what a fascinating idea. And wonderful to hear this song – such a perfect response to this beautiful photo of Alison’s. Thanks, Sue, for sharing with us. (and p.s. – I’m going to have to see that photo of the Islander lifeboat soon. Great image.)

  4. Ellen Gager says:

    What a great way to honor and inspire art. Brilliant all around.

  5. […] project, which uses some of Alison’s photos. If you’re interested, you can read my blog post from last summer, to get the whole story. Anyway, please watch Sally’s talk. I was so […]

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