The silver-grey angel that Eva’s father sculpted

There are many who regret that Eva Cassidy has no grave. The silver-grey angel that Hugh Cassidy sculpted from scrap metal comes closest to a memorial to this exceptional woman. The angel stands in their garden, which connects Hugh and Barbara’s mansion to the shore of Chesapeake Bay, the huge white house resembling a luxurious version of the cottage by the ocean side that Eva had always dreamed about. The angel’s wings unfold as if she is preparing to fly away at any moment. The damp atmosphere having corroded the iron, the layer of rust on the wings gives her an almost transient quality. Her hands are folded as if she at prayer. She radiates ethereal grace, her head tilting slightly upwards, gazing at the distant horizon.

“She represents all that is good in this world.” This quotation – that Eva added to the bottom of her portrait of Bernice, Chris Biondo’s dog – summarises Eva Cassidy’s own life precisely. Eva loved animals because unlike people they never let her down. In her relationships with others she was always cautious, wary of unpleasantness or confrontation. The pain of her unhappy adolescence pursued her until her dying day.

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy

But Eva Cassidy found a way of coping with the troubled waters that flowed around her life. From misery she created beautiful things. Art became a way not only of neutralising Eva’s melancholy but it brightened up her existence to the point that she was able to sing “I think to myself, what a wonderful world” and really mean it. At the end of her life she was able to look back on her flawed relationship with her father and forgive him because she knew that Hugh was a victim of his own isolated upbringing.

Eva’s singing brings both hope and comfort. Her music gives listeners the strength to resign themselves to mortality, at least temporarily. The first time Eva experienced this transition was while watching Judy Garland in her dusty Kansas farmyard singing ‘Over The Rainbow’. Years later Eva gave millions of others the same thing, the chance to experience this song imbued with even greater emotional depth.

The Essence of Eva

The Essence of Eva

Art was what made Eva’s life shine. She had no interest in material things. Sixteen years after her death Eva would more than likely feel completely out of place in our mass media technological age: money, power, fame, image – all these were of no importance to Eva. It was almost as if she knew that her life on earth would be short and that it was pointless to surround herself with worldly treasures. She felt humble, like mere stardust.

2 responses to “The silver-grey angel that Eva’s father sculpted”

  1. Though she barely broke out of the Washington D.C. music scene during her lifetime, Eva’s music has become hugely successful, especially in England.

  2. Ada Walter says:

    Is any of Eva’s artwork available to buy? Answer: Yes! In 2004, Eva’s sisters Anette and Margret created a web site at to showcase Eva’s artwork. Prints and posters of several Eva artworks are now available, as well as notecards and some truly essential bumperstickers.

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