24th September 2012
My exhibition at no format gallery finished on Sunday evening, it’s been up for 10 days, lots of visitors to the gallery, many of the visitors know my work and came specifically to see the exhibition and buy, some were complete strangers who chanced upon the show on their way to or from The Reach Climbing Wall, parents collecting kids from the circus training area in Hangar Arts, some just out exploring on bikes.
All were welcome and many had interesting comments about the exhibition. Here are some comments from the visitors book:
“Wonderful work – so much energy, strength and life” J
“Love the work especially the sculpture with the poem” L
“Great show – fantastic movement depicted with beauty and feeling” C
“Great movement in all pieces” Ch
Tweet from rognbrow and another
However responses from dancers I’ve worked with were perhaps the most meaningful. This next message is from Italian dancer Alessandra Ruggeri who I worked with making the YouTube film Chasing Shadows in 2009
“The body I see in your drawings is the body I feel as a dancer”
The 3 paintings below were made after spending 4 weeks drawing the Russell Maliphant Dance Company. One day in the Lilian Baylis Studio during a rehearsal, lighting designer Michael Hulls shone lights the colours of fire on the dancers bodies, as they moved they created pools of burning glowing light and for those moments they stopped being dancers and became mystical or other worldly.
When Dickson Mbi showed up he hugged me when he looked at the painting of him in The Rodin Project. He didn’t need to say anything. (see above middle)
Jack Jones from Yorke Dance Project who danced a solo on the opening night, realised that I must have also drawn him dancing in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake when he saw a painting on canvas derived from those drawings. (see below left)
I loved watching dancer Irina Baldini spend some time with the sculpture of her, (life size wire sculpture, Irina, above, but the woman pictured is not Irina the dancer). Probably the last time we shall see this sculpture as she now lives in a lawyers office in Essex (although I’d be happy to make her again to commission).
I enjoyed observing the students from Lewisham College walking around the gallery discussing my work, showing their response through movement, asking questions, chatting about the emotions that came to them when looking at the sculpture, drawings and paintings.
And of course I loved their dance created in 1 week specifically for a performance in the gallery by the students as a response to my work.