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Tennessee Williams – A portrait by a playwright

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 Tennessee Williams scaring the pigeons in Jackson Square, New Orleans © Christopher R. Harris, All Rights Reserved

Tennessee Williams scaring the pigeons in Jackson Square, New Orleans © Christopher R. Harris, All Rights Reserved

The much-celebrated playwright Tennessee Williams having a series of paintings exhibited alongside friend Michael Garady.

Speaking to The Guardian this week Garady explained that painting was a passion for Williams: “he treated it like a second profession.”

According to Michael, Tennessee started painting in the 60s when his career as a playwright took a dip.

He presented six different paintings to Garady. These pieces are now going to be exhibited in public for the first time.

Garady also told the newspaper stories of the pairs’ painting adventures.

“There’s a self-portrait and one of me bare-chested. I said, ‘I don’t like taking off my shirt, Tennessee.’ He said, ‘Oh go on, I want to learn anatomy.’ I said, ‘All right but put the fire on – it’s mighty cold’.

“So there I sat like a complete dolt with my shirt off, but I loved the portrait. It’s a little bit of history for me.

“He did it in pencil, with an oil wash – diluting the oil paint in turpentine and spreading it over a canvas-type paper. It came out like a watercolour.’

For the diary:
The exhibition will take place at the Saint Giles Street Gallery in Norwich until 27 November 2008.

Have a listen to some of the most engaging dialogue ever written by anyone in Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ starring the late great Marlon Brando:

Words: Seamus Swords

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