In my own studio I’ve been working with Georgie (btw it’s not her in the image above), a classically trained ‘en pointe’ ballerina for some time; mainly drawing form her in charcoal but also using wire for ‘3d sketching’. Working with her is totally inspiring – ballerinas have such poise and grace, a way of moving and of being which transcends them above us mere mortals.
To build on this, I recently had a wonderful opportunity to go to Sadler’s Wells to see the English National Ballet in ‘company class’ – essentially a couple of hours of ballet exercises, half at the bar and half without. (Little did I know that I was also to be totally honoured by the presence of one of the world’s greatest ballerinas, Tamara Rojo!)http://www.ballet.org.uk/
My own work lays bare the emotions and the duality of life – the agony and ecstasy, strength and fragility, the sublime and the ugly… so I have always been drawn to ballet and ballet dancers who starkly represent these conflicting yet complimentary qualities in every way. And these dancers really do ‘suffer’ for their art – an artistry I find totally compelling, spellbinding even.
Strong lines have always been important in my work and I look for these when abstracting from the human figure. Being drawn to dancers now makes sense as I’ve learned that they too always look to the line – to extend their lines and to ‘sculpt’ in space, drawing arcs in the air.
All this is feeding and informing my vision for a new body of work – one for which my metalwork class at Central Saint Martins (see last blog post) is fundamentally important too. It’s all beginning to come together nicely and I can’t wait to start pulling it together in the new work and to sharing the results with you…