Can you hear me St Francis?, 1969
Can you hear me St Francis?
synthetic polymer paint
3 hardboard panels
each panel: 298 x 298 mm (s)
1: C. Mc [remainder of inscription obscured by frame] (brushpoint, b.r.); MAKE A KIND OF INVISIBLE FENCE ABOUT SOME / FORM OF LIFE SO IT COULD FLOUISH [sic] IN ITS OWN WAY. (brushpoint, b.l.-b.r.); 1 / Colin McCahon / June '69 / Can you hear me / St Francis / NO 1 of a series / of 3 (on reverse)
2: C. Mc. 69 (brushpoint, b.l.); 2 / Colin McCahon / June '69 / Can you hear me / St Francis / NO. 2 of a series of 3 (on reverse)
3: FOR PETER HOOPER / POET OF / GRACE AND TRUTH. C. Mc '69 (brushpoint, t.r.); 3 / Colin McCahon / June '69 / Can you hear / me St Francis / NO. 3 of a series [remainder of inscription obscured by tape] (on reverse)
1: Can you / hear me / St Francis /
2: it's the direction I'm pointing
IF YOU CAN'T UNDER
STAND THAT AND IF
YOU'RE APPALED [sic]
STICK TO THE GUIDED TOUR
3: Poetry isn't
in my words it's
in the direction
IF YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND
THAT and if you're
at the journey stick
to the guided tours
THEY ISSUE RETURN TICKETS
The work was painted for the poet Peter Hooper (1919-1991), whose poems McCachon incorporated into a number of works from 1969.
The text is from Peter Hooper's poem 'Can you hear me Saint Francis', from Journey towards an elegy and other poems (Nag's Head Press, Christchurch, 1969).