Funded by my Kickstarter campaign, it was great to have my first studio sitting with Ballet Cymru dancers last week. Neither Anna Pujol nor Andrea Battaggia had ever worked with a painter before, and I’d had only a little experience of working with multiple models, so none of us quite knew what was going to happen.
What resulted was several hours of experimentation – planned and partially directed at the start of the session, though becoming more spontaneous towards the end, with the dancers arriving at poses through brief discussion and passages of flowing, improvised movement. This latter approach (developing some of my earlier work with Beth Powlesland and John Livingston in the studio, and with Deborah Lago and Angharad Harrop at the FreeHaus project this summer) was more directly informed by the dancers’ own ideas, and led to some particularly interesting and expressive poses, which I look forward to working up on canvas.
It was an inspiring day, and a productive first step in my new project.
Big thanks to Anna and Andrea, who were excellent to work with, bringing an enthusiasm and creativity to the process which I hope I can reflect in the paintings.
Ballet Cymru is currently touring Romeo a Juliet and Little Red Riding Hood & The Three Little Pigs – both wonderful. See dates and venues here.