Archive for May, 2010

Political Mother. Premier

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The stage is in darkness; a single spot reveals a lone samurai soldier committing hara-kiri. The image is so unexpected; I feel the scary sensation of being sucked inside a video-game. As he slumps forward, a politician comes in to view gesticulating wildly and ranting nonsensically from a balcony high above us.

As two men dance, four drummers are lit up playing a fierce and powerful rhythm. Adding to the scary surreal video-game dimension, they are also dressed in Samurai costume and their faces obliterated by darkness.


When I drew the dancers during rehearsals I saw beautiful emotionally charged fragments; to watch and draw these intricate rhythmic fragments joined, together with massive powerful and at times lyrical music, dynamic lighting and costumes the dance took on a whole new meaning.  The dancers dance collectively, supportively in a group, but in contrast there are moments of such deep isolation and emotional pain of individuals that I feel overwhelming sadness and the breath catches in my throat. Certainly a sense of the futility of war comes across.

Political Mother 4

Suddenly on the balcony, above the action of the dancers, five foot-stamping, hair-swaying electric guitarists added to the shock effect by playing at full volume and I am catapulted back to the present day to a gig or music festival. The altered rhythm and atmosphere is reflected in the movement and mood of the dancers.

political mother 4

This jumping between time frames; the intense energy emanating from both the dancers and the musicians; the speedy switches of emotion and the fantastic geometric contrasts of light and shadow are all familiar territory to teenagers. I hope they will be in the audience at Sadler’s Wells in July to appreciate it.

At the premier at the close of the show there was a standing ovation, I cannot believe that it will anything less at any other venue.

Political Mother. Hofesh Shechter Dance Company Premier in Brighton

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The Hofesh Shechter Dance Company will be at The Concert Hall, Brighton on Thursday and Friday to Premier their new dance Political Mother as part of Brighton Festival. In July the company will be dancing at Sadler’s Wells.

Political Mother

Political Mother, rehearsal

“I was impressed with how Sally is able to capture, not only the movements, but also the atmosphere of my work” Hofesh Shechter.


My work at The Union Club

Monday, May 17th, 2010

In June over 20 of my framed drawings will be exhibited at The Union Club, Greek Street, Soho by GV Art, London.



Captured Like A Firefly in a Jam Jar

Monday, May 17th, 2010

During 2nd Floor Studios first Open Studios weekend there was a continuous flow of interested visitors through the two buildings and a vibrant atmosphere. My studio was constantly busy, the next Open Studios will be in the Autumn, if you would like to be on my mailing list for this and other exhibitions please contact me via my web site.

.Captured Like a Firefly in a jam jar

Captured like a Firefly in Jam Jar  

Open Studios

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Last night was the Private View for the Open Studios at 2nd Floor Studios, where I have my studio overlooking the river. A photographer from the local paper, the News Shopper took some shots of me and my most recent painting: Captured Like A Firefly in a Jam-Jar and also my sketch books. One sketch book in particular attracted a lot of attention last night, of New Adventures Swan Lake, drawn last Autumn, it was this sketch book that inspired the above painting, the title came from writer and friend Karen Fielding when describing my drawings.

Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

On Saturday and Sunday the Studios will be open from 11.00 – 5.00.  My studio is 17 Unit 0, I will be there on both days.


Desert Boy at The Albany, Deptford

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

On Thursday my son Max and I were invited to the press night for Desert Boy, the result of a collaboration between director/musician, Felix Cross and writer, Mojisola Adebayo at The Albany, Deptford. The play begins in Deptford (a few miles from where we live) with teenager Soldier Boy, on the threshold of life and death with a knife in his belly. A stranger appears to him and takes him and us on a journey, back 300 years to his home in the Sahara, a slave ship, America to pick cotton, and onwards. Throughout the play we are returned to Soldier Boy’s life story in South London.

The play is a wonderful, absorbing and very moving fusion of physical theatre, a fascinating and poignant story and fabulous music, ranging from rapping to beautiful a cappella singing that made my heart surge. The humor felt relevant, making both my son and I laugh.

 Desert Boy at The Albany, Deptford

Desert Boy at The Albany

Political Mother. Hofesh Shechter Dance Company rehearsal

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Several weeks ago in Brighton, I drew during rehearsals of Hofesh Shechters’ Political Mother. It was wonderful to draw this company again. Last Autumn I joined them to draw during the early research of this dance. There is something deeply primeval about the choreography. I watched and drew bodies moving in unison, each dancer completely engaged in their own movement. I drew spirals and twists; rounded backs with heads bent submissively to the earth or arched backs with heads thrown up as if attempting unsuccessfully to break free from some unseen force deep within the earth. The rehearsal music was a background hum with a pulse, reminding me of the rhythmic beat of a universal heart.

Hofesh Shechter early rehearsal

Hofesh Shechter Dance Company, rehearsals for Political Mother in March 2010