When Tony Birks died a few years ago, I no longer drew the Butoh Dancers; but a wonderful surprise awaited me: I can now draw in the dark at ‘Ballet Dress Rehearsals’.
The orchestra strikes up, the curtains open … and the auditorium lights go out. So I home in on the stage, and draw just the movement the dancers make. I’m not looking at the paper at all when I draw, but I use my whole arm, and draw freely.
I found, quickly, that the orchestral music gives a kind of ‘Signature’ to each particular ballet.
When the lights come on again, I see what I have drawn … or not.
Sometimes, later, I add - very quickly- touches of colour; but I do not ‘work’ on the drawings, as that stops them moving. In the end, what I want is for people who buy my work to have a picture on their wall, which, when they walk past, does a little jiggle for them - so they are not ‘static’ pictures.
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