Sunday, 31 October 2010

Oddities

I've been very busy these last few weeks, reading lots of exciting books on gender, sexuality, desire and all for the Masters, investigating the possibility of a space to train in Oxford (also very exciting, watch this space for pictures of a delighted me dangling in my own home town!) and being an extra in a new film by Robin Hardy of The Wicker Man fame. Not to give away too much plot, this involved outdoor Autumnal nudity and being covered in fake (and real) blood. I am hopeful that my naked self might make it into the final edit...


I did find the time to do a strange drawing which I then painted in watercolour. It was definately ill-advised to paint by the orange glow of a single lamp, but I blame the influence of the season for how oddly the thing turned out. Not sure where this character and her rabbits came from... 


I also noticed this little collection of objects on our mantle, framing a rather beautiful photograph of a gargoyle, and felt pleased that I still have time to peer closely at things...and find unplanned and unexpected pockets of art.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Portraits

Drawing people

Not as they are...


As they are...



And as they appear in daydreams...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Silks, trees and longing

In August, Brighton was host to the first European Aerial Dance Forum in England. This was an amazing opportunity to train all day in various disciplines, several of which (harness and cocoon) I had never tried before as my focus has been on corde lisse. The teachers were fantastic, encouraging and clear, and my strength was at an all time high by the end.
The most satisfying part for me was improvising (French teacher and perforer Fred Deb had us imagine we were surrounded by mosquitoes) on the rope during create lab sessions. Often confidence is just as important as muscle and technical ability. Feeling free enough in the air to begin to create...what a gift!

Later, in the Lake District, I was able to practice some cocoon moves on my straps (which are actually for rigging, but prove a useful, if slightly painful, training tool as well) which I looped over a tree branch. Oh, to have a tree outside my flat! (the sound half way through is my husband nearly slipping into a brook...)



It is strange where the paths of life take us - we choose them from a mere glimpse, from a small longing in the heart which whispers and will not be silenced...No matter where this path leads, the path itself is strewn with remarkable things - dreams realised, amazement at ones-self, transformation - however tiny - and the dappled happiness which comes from knowing we listened to the longing.


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Wedding


The invitation which I drew and designed






Wire wool and feather necklace which was made by Facets of Avalon in Glastonbury.



Photos by Raworth and Raworth

Friday, 8 October 2010

Aerial

My interest in aerial circus (or aerial dance) was from the first about its potential as a form of moving sculpture. I became very excited about the possible images, moods and stories which could be created by using my whole body in a new way. To claim the air as a new space in which to explore is not a quick process - much like drawing and painting it takes a great deal of time, patience and hard, hard work. I have been incredibly lucky to find just the right woman to train me, someone who inhabits her body with a depth of grace which still astounds me. I only hope that one day I can find that fluidity in myself!
Until then, here is what I have been working on this week.
I see myself in the air here as a fledgling, a creature still very much in the process of finding its place, but filled with excitement and amazement at what its body can do.





Thursday, 7 October 2010

Kit Williams and herb paris

Some months ago I met the artist Kit Williams ( who made and buried a golden hare then created a painting puzzle book which was a key to finding it) who asked me to model for Titania in one of his paintings. I said yes, of course, Kit having been an artist who inspired me as a child and Midsummer Nights Dream being my favourite Shakespeare play.
The experience was a very delightful one as Kit is full of stories; myths meeting memories, ancient characters re-imagined, the collision of disparate tales and characters forming something new and wonderful in his work.
After I had moddled the BBC made a documentary retrospective about Kit, which he asked me to be in. Filming is a strange process, very repetative, but fun nonetheless.






One of the stories Kit told to the filmmakers involved his decision during an early stage of the Titania (and Bottom) painting to use herb paris as the plant used to bewitch  Bottom. He had always hoped to find it growing in the wild and in true Kit-style found it for the first time shortly after his decision to include it.
After this I began exploring the relationship between people and plants in my drawing, our preferences for certain ones, the magic stories surrounding others, the effects they have on us...





Our (mine and my partner's) involvement with the documentary also granted us a childhood wish when, whilst at the London exhibition of Kit's recent work, the BBC team unexpectedly unveiled the long-vanished Golden Hare. Through our adventure of meeting Kit we had found it! Well, sort of...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Honeymoon

This Autumn brings many new beginnings for me; attending Circus Space classes, the starting of a Masters Degree on Wednesday, my marriage on the 24th of September and now beginning this travelogue.
It is my and my new husbands (!) honeymoon which is at the front of my mind this evening.
I am already missing the Lake District - the deep quiet, the lack of people, the lack of anything to do except walk, climb and scramble up mountains, eat good food, play in trees, drink fine mead and other traditional Honeymoon activities...



What will become the wedding thank you card..


Aerial practice in the cottage garden

Buttermere


The cottage we rented