Over the past few months I’ve been dropping in on Ballet Cymru as they rehearse for this season’s productions, making charcoal sketches and shooting digital film, which I’m then using as reference material to make pictures in the painting studio.
Seeing these dancers at work has been hugely inspiring, in terms of their physicality and creativity and everything else that interests me as a painter, but also with regards to their extraordinary discipline and the commitment they have to their art. I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.
Looking for moments of stillness within passages of movement, I edit, loop and project sections of film in the studio, as close to life size as possible, and paint as if from a model holding a pose. So far I’ve made a series of small oil sketches and some larger drawings on paper, though my plan is to begin scaling this work up, using the technique to produce large compositions on canvas involving multiple figures, and more directly exploring some of the themes and choreography of the dance that inspired them.
I currently have more ideas for paintings than I know what to do with. It’s very exciting.
Thanks again to Amy, Darius and all the company for all their support.
Please find Ballet Cymru’s website here.