Monday, 8 March 2010

Cultural challenges

It has become very easy to get my creative inspiration from tried and tested places.  I love it when Selvedge drops through my door every other month, I know that in AN magazine I'll find work that's conceptually challenging and my guilty pleasure is Country Living Magazine.  Then there are the galleries; I know where to tap into my comfort zone and see a reflection of my own work.  More recently, unless something is going to look pretty on my blog then it's not worth looking at!

And so it was a New Year resolution to seek out new experiences and new places.  Following on from seeing a BBC4 documentary about the Cuban music scene, I got last minute tickets to see Danza Contemporanea de Cuba at Nottingham Playhouse.  Wow! What an experience! 

Contemporary dance isn't normally my thing and for a few minutes I did think I would get the giggles, as I did when I saw a contemporary opera.  But I was blown away.  It helped to be watching twenty one of the world's most beautiful and talented dancers.  I was taken by the mood, the colour, the strength and beauty of the dancers.  In three acts; the first was intense and discordant,  the second lyrical and passionate and the third dynamic and powerful.  Infused with global dance traditions, it was utterly compelling.  I've not felt a part of such a responsive audience for a long time.  A standing ovation was given to shouts of  "Viva Cuba!"

So now it's Monday and I'm back in the studio with the pressure of producing some new work for the Beetroot Tree Gallery.  In my minds eye there's the colour and movement from the dance, and also the colour and movement from the stained glass artists featured in Monty Don's BBC2 programme on Master Craftsmen.  One experience from the comfort of the sofa, one from outside of the box.

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