Sunday, 4 September 2016

Run Away with the Circus!......

Working progress of  Olga the aerial performer extraordinaire!

  Earlier in the year I was asked to contribute to a very exciting dream project. I was asked to join a group of artists for an exciting exhibition with the working title 'Circus Acts' Imagine my absolute delight when the brief informed me that all should be inspired by the circus days of old and that if I could get my hands on a copy of the epic Taschen book "The Circus 1870's - 1950's then do some research and draw inspiration from its hundreds and hundreds of breathtaking photos...

   The mammoth book in question has luckily been on my shelf for a number of years and is regularly poured over for inspiration along with my own fascination with its history.

  I decided to create two dolls for the show, and have been working on them both over the last few months alongside other projects. I started by making lots of sketches (which is what I always do when creating new characters) thinking about the colours of the circus and the era I wanted my dolls to look like they'd stepped from. 

Having choose the late 1920's for my showgirls I decided to dress their hair in little plaited buns - very similar to the boudoir dolls of the era. I also watched and took inspiration from two of director Tod Brownings classics movies - silent thriller "The Show" 1927 and his controversial cult classic "Freaks" 1932

Neptuna! Queen of the mermaids "The Show" 1927

Leila Hyams and Daisy Earles in "Freaks" 1932
Olga Baclanova's opening shot as the "Peacock of the Air" in "Freaks"

The whole dazzling spectacle will include work from printmakers, textile artists, photographers and jewellery designers. For added drama, the exhibition curator Kate Hickson will be turning her Herefordshire home into a magical big top grotto for the whole colourful two day event taking place on the weekend of September the 10th and 11th in Ledbury.

Textile Art, Sideshow Mermaid.

Textile Art, Olga the Aerial Performer.

If you happen to be in the area I shall be there on Sunday and would love you come and say hi! 

Please see here for more details

Olga Baclanova and Harry Earles in "Freaks" 1932

Pip x

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