Assignment Three, Artists and Dancers

Dancers and Artists

One of these two subject areas will hopefully progress to Assignment three submission.

My thoughts on Dancers are:

The dancers that I have chosen are very serious about their work. One couple has recently won the UK Senior Latin American championship and the others are intent on reaching similar goals. My idea to try and harness the notion of the transfiguring process of performance, the condition whereby, during the act of performance the dancer adopts a new persona, becomes someone else. Unlike Marion Gronier’s work where she attempted to capture that in-between moment immediately after performance, I want to try and find that expression, that mask that is worn as part of the change in character.

I know from experience that performance artists can ‘become’ the person they are ‘playing’, it comes almost as a sense of grace whereby there is an almost an psychological embracing of the character being depicted. Different dances require different characters, elegance, aggression, seduction, playful all have distinct places in the dancers repertoire. I hope to able to connect with these performers in this way. My plan is to utilize a dance studio space and discuss with the dancers how their choreography could harmonize with both where I plan to have lights and ensure that I catch them whilst still in character.

My thoughts on the Artists are:

None of the four artists I have chosen are full time artists, by that I mean that none even hope to survive financially by their art. They are a range of disparate genre’s, water colour and oils, textiles 3D and 2D, they have geography in common and me. They all sell their work at various public and private events and have different expectations regarding the work they create. All value the work they do in creating their works and are serious about their intents.

I plan to engage them in portraits within their studios, hopefully in the act of creation, these studios range from the very small, though purpose built to the much larger adopted space, albeit full time studio. Light will be a strong variable, one has very large windows allowing for the probably ease of north-light capture, others may need some assistance from lights.

I am a little unsure how these artists can depict their identity, other than through their art, and it has occurred to me that I may decide that one of the portraits could be a piece of their work describing them fully as an artist. Final decisions will probably be made after the initial interviews which start this week.


2 thoughts on “Assignment Three, Artists and Dancers

  1. Some interesting ideas here John. You may want to have a look at Roni Horn’s ‘Portrait of an Image 2005’ see

    Horn’s work is a portrait of actress or rather series of portraits of actress Isabel Huppert (20 sets of 5 portraits). Huppert is pictured ‘revisiting with her face, during each session, a role that she played in one of her films’ . The work explores the notion of identity and indeed how difficult or even impossible it is to pin it down through facial expression…

    The notion of series of portraits of your subjects rather than just individual portraits might be of interest….it is certainly an area which interests me….good luck!!

    • That’s really interesting Keith, by the way thanks for your interest. The first film I saw of Hupperts was the Lacemaker and I saw the Piano Teacher a few months ago thereby bookending her career!. Anyway Horn’s work looks very interesting, and especially so given the performance piece. Much appreciated.

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