Original: oil on wood, 36 inches in diameter; © Lee Robinsong 1982
“Cortes Island Rococo” was painted by Lee Robinsong in 1982 as one face of the two-sided wooden sign that originally graced the outside entrance to Hollyhock. The sign hung under a shelter where the Hollyhock Gatehouse building now stands.
Inspired by the two-sided British inn signs of the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Hollyhock sign features “Cortes Island Rococo” on one side and “Cortes Island Pastoral” on the other. While “Pastoral” documents a day in the working life of the Hollyhock Farm, “Rococo” illuminates the divinity of the place. Combining the graphic design of Columban Celtic Christianity, the classic Renaissance depiction of God Giving Life to Adam, and the natural beauty of South Cortes Island, the image is a reverent, iconoclastic altarpiece for the place that would become the Hollyhock Retreat Centre.
Lee, in retrospect, regrets that God didn’t give Eve the hollyhock.