Jordi Bonet was born in Spain and became one of Quebec’s major artists through murals, painting, sculptures and ceramics. The panel notes how he lost his right arm at the age of 9 and had to learn these talents with his left. He has brilliant public works at the Montreal Metro, JFK Airport in New York and various churches throughout Quebec and Ontario in addition to his piece on the Great Northern Peninsula. Bonet passed away on Christmas Day in 1979 at the age of 47 succumbing to leukemia.
The Jordi Bonet Murals are a true gift to the people of the North, exhibited for all to see at the rotunda of the Charles Curtis Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony.
Honouring all those who have dedicated their lives to the Grenfell Mission
There is a special recognition to Dr. Charles S. Curtis, an unselfish servant to the people of the coast in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador contributing 48 years of his life to improving health, childcare, education, agriculture and other initiatives as part of the Grenfell Mission.
Additionally, the Grenfell Mission thanks all past and future generations who have and will take on the challenge of improving the quality of life for the people of the North. No visit to the Great Northern Peninsula is complete without seeing such a public work of art that is on display at a hospital, where the Grenfell Legacy flourished for more than a century.
Thank you to those who been a part of the Grenfell Mission as the International Grenfell Association celebrates its centennial year. We must keep building and reaching out. The Great Northern Peninsula has connections with the Rockefellers, the Colgate fortune, with volunteers such as Josephine Colgate volunteering with the Grenfell Mission, American Presidents, British Royalty, and even Wilbur & Orville Wright. There are many stories to tell, outreach and an ability to re-connect. As we reflect upon the past, we must also look toward the future where the Great Northern Peninsula is one that thrives on success and continuous improvement.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North @MitchelmoreMHA
It may have taken several years and travel over a bumpy highway, but in 2013 I found myself in King’s Point, NL. It is a community that should be on everyone’s To Do List! There are scenic viewing vistas of both mountains and coastal areas, colourful fishing rooms and wharves, walking trails, rattling brook, humpback whale pavilion, heritage home, cafes, restaurants, accommodations and of course, Newfoundland’s famous King’s Point Pottery.
In 2002, I became an entrepreneur by starting-up Flower’s Island Museum and was profiled by the Getting the Message Out (GMO) program. In 2006, I ended up working as an Intern promoting that very program at the now Department of Innovation, Business & Rural Development across the province. One of the businesses profiled was King’s Point Pottery.
In 2013, the owner’s, Linda Yates & David Hayashida received the “Outstanding Retailer Award” at the Atlantic Canada Craft and Trade Show gala event in Halifax, Nova Scotia after being nominated by the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador. This is the show’s highest honour.
I had written the owner’s commending them on their accomplishment and noted how I hoped to visit their storefront in the near future. I was greatly impressed when Linda told me how they turned her father’s old service station into their current retail outlet, adding a triangular rooftop. I am a fan of re-purposing local buildings.
Inside, there were all sorts of pottery, ceramics, prints, jewelry, wooden items and even local jams from the Dark Tickle Company of St. Lunaire-Griquet on the Great Northern Peninsula. They support more than 180 artists with a goal of supporting and retailing 365 artists from all over Atlantic Canada.
The hooked rug style coasters of the iconic clothes lines are quintessentially aspects of rural living. These are unique and show the creativity of our artists. I had a great conversation with one of the students employed that is also gaining experience in the craft and making specialty products.
I purchase a ceramic cup and saucer, as well as this colourful bowl. After leaving the shop, I visited more attractions, which I will write about in a later post.
There are many opportunities to support our local artists and craft producers. King’s Point Pottery is a 21-year-old success story. We can do more to buy local, help create local jobs and build stronger, vibrant rural communities.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
On June 28, 2010 as I continued my vacation and could not resist a visit to the rotunda of Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital. I have frequented the hospital on many occasions, typically to see a sick friend/relative or a new birth. Usually, I am in such a rush and take the attitude of disliking hospitals that I tend to rush past one of the most unique aspects of the hospital and even on the whole peninsula. The rotunda houses the Jordi Bonet Murals which depict life in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador.
Jordi Bonet was born in Barcelona, Spain (his work reminds me of the remarkable abstract and contemporaries of Gaudi’s work, which is greatly influenced by forms of nature and this is reflective of Gaudi’s Barcelona architecture. When in Barcelona, check out his marvels.)
Bonet at the youthful age of 9, lost his right arm. He had will and determination that he would not give up and learned to paint with his left arm. He came to Quebec, Canada and learned the technique of tiles, mosiacs and ceramics. In 1967, Bonet designed and fabricated the murals for the friends of the Grenfell Mission. In taking the time to look at each image, you will note that some are quite realistic, with native peoples, fisherman, water and the forest. While, others are more abstract and certainly open to individual interpretation. His use of color in the project creates a soothing, harmonious feel as we circle the room and realize that these images tell a story about us, our people and that it continues to circle.
I’ve learned two lessons from this visit. One, is to take time out in our everyday lives to really appreciate true beauty. You will find that it is all around you. Two, Jordi was strong willed and determined and so are the people of this peninsula, those who have passed on, those who remain and those who have adventured to other parts of the world. We can all make strong contributions and are a part of the living history, culture and heritage of the people of Rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Grenfell Historic Properties coins The Jordi Bonet Murals as one of the Peninsula’s best kept secrets…..well I say lets not keep something so wonderful to ourselves. It is up to you to take the time to visit a meaniful piece of our history and heritage that in my mind compares with any piece of art or structure found in any gallery or museum, but I am probably a little biased.
We are talented people, those who have roots in Rural Newfoundland.