Alice hard at work!! And preparing for our show! -HR
Since most of the rehearsals have finished I’ve been developing personal imagery less influenced directly by Glyndebourne. Here is a very thickly painted piece on a wooden panel; I really enjoyed painting it as tomorrow we’re setting up the exhibition so today was the last day for painting. At first it was just the yellow leaf-like shape on the dusty pink background but then I decided to cut through it with some kind of juxtaposing structure. - A.W
My mum said that my previous blog post was too silly so I’m going to reword it:
Whilst watching the rehearsals of Billy Budd I had repeatedly been watching Act 1 which was breathtaking. I hadn’t watched Act 2 until the final rehearsal and began to realise the depressing and sad nature of the opera. If you know the opera you will understand that in the second act the main character who is sweet and innocent is hung. This piece is about the my feelings after watching the whole opera and how sad it had made me. I have used pale colours and flowers around the set as respect to Billy’s death. - HR
(Very small) Gouache on board. - A.W
As all the rehearsals have finished I have been drawing around the gardens at Glyndebourne. This painting is based on the trees in the gardens and also the props from Don Pasquale.
Now that I’ve seen the last dress rehearsal of Billy Budd I am increasingly intrigued by it. Its larger than life characters that become symbols in a way - of innocence, evilness, old age etc.- are woven with such complex issues, of the social consequences and restraints of hierarchy, repressed sexual desire, love, judgement versus law, to name a few, so that it becomes an entire statement about humanity itself.
This is despite being set aboard one ship, with the intense repetitiveness of the sea and the life that goes with it (as expressed by the obsessive music, the claustrophobia of the dark set, the unbearable scrubbing of the decks), and so it really does becomes as Captain Vere states, its own ‘floating monarchy’. It is the ambiguousness of its more complex issues in relationship to its specific symbols of humanity- but through in effect what is a narrow medium: one stage set, one opera- that is a way of communicating ideas that I am really interested in, and painting is a very narrow medium in this sense, so ambiguousness is a useful tool that I am increasingly trying to utilise. - AW
In the studio I’ve been mainly working on scenes from Don Pasquale being heavily inspired by the wallpaper, the props and the revolving stage. Last weekend I visited the Tate Britain and saw the Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume shows; Caulfield’s paintings are amazingly precise and clear using strong opaque colours representing scenes of still lifes and Gary Hume’s showed free representations and highly glossy paint. These shows have spurred me on to (hopefully) create some highly colourful and clear paintings this week! These are some pieces I have been working on based on Don Pasquale and the last two images are based on Figaro and inspired by Caulfield. - HR
These are a few examples of what we’ve been doing (written in ascending order with the images):
This is oil and acrylic on paper based on the sets of Hippolyte and Figaro. I have been interested in the sets backstage when they are intertwined with each other and out of context of their performances.
We have been doing many drawings at the rehearsals. This is of the Billy Budd set before it was put on the main stage.
This is watercolour on paper based on a scene in Hippolyte when Theseus is in the underworld.
I have done a lot of drawings based on one of the sets of Hippolyte where there are very realistic deers hanging from the ceiling, in what is a very strange but beautiful scene. This is gouache on board and is based on these drawings, representing the fluidity of the deers hanging as they are moved around the stage.