Forty years after she sang her hit Wuthering Heights, inspired by Emily Bronte’s novel, singer Kate Bush is contributing to a monument to the Bronte sisters on the Yorkshire moors.
In a rare public work, she has written an inscription for a stone that will be placed near the Brontes’ home.
Bush said being asked to pen a passage about Emily was “an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her”.
She’s one of four artists who have written messages about the sisters.
Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has crafted a passage for a stone dedicated to Charlotte Bronte, fellow poet Jackie Kay has created a tribute to Anne, and the fourth inscription, by author Jeanette Winterson, will reflect on the Bronte legacy as a whole.
The four stones will form a trail between the family home in Haworth and the sisters’ birthplace seven miles away in Thornton. They will be unveiled as part of Bradford Literature Festival on 7 July.
In a statement, Bush said: “I am delighted to be involved in this project. Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape where they lived and worked is a striking idea.
“Emily only wrote the one novel – an extraordinary work of art that has truly left its mark. To be asked to write a piece for Emily’s stone is an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her.”
The singer seldom takes part in public projects and has been out of the spotlight since performing 22 shows in London in 2014 and releasing an accompanying live album two years later.
‘Such an icon’
Bradford Literature Festival director Syima Aslam said the four passages were each under 100 words, but that “fans of Kate Bush won’t be disappointed”.
“We felt that Kate would be a great person to write about Emily Bronte,” she told BBC News.
“She’s such an icon and so much of her work references literature, so it felt like she would be the perfect person to respond to Emily and write something for the stone.
“We weren’t sure whether she would do it but we were absolutely delighted when she said yes. It was one of those – we won’t know unless we ask. So we asked, and she said yes, and we were tremendously excited.
“This is the only public thing she’s doing about the fact that it’s the 40th anniversary of Wuthering Heights. For so many people, Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Emily are all so entwined.”
As well as this public art installation, there are celebrations being staged by the Bronte Parsonage Museum this year to mark the bicentenary of Emily’s birth.