My current obsession is with the vaudeville dancer Loie Fuller – she performed as a skirt dancer on the burlesque circuit.
I photographed the Serpentine Dance and the Fire Dance from a Sky Arts documentary “Picasso and Braque go to the Movies”
Selecting 10 photos from each, then doing a wee fiddle on photoshop before printing on 12x12cm bevelled wooden plaques, working into the picture with pastel and pencil then varnishing with yacht varnish, before sanding the plaque and repeating the process. This is another favourite medium as it creates an ethereal image and is perfect for Ms Fuller.
I then attached the 20 images onto two long pieces of reclaimed wood to put into the exhibition FACES and TRACES OF PLACES – they both sold – she typed smugly!!!
Below is a photo from the exhibition the 2 pieces of reclaimed wood are on either side and I projected the Serpentine Dance in the middle, filmed secretly when I was at the Pompidou Centre.
Why Loie Rocks …
She toured in a show called “Uncle Celestine,” featured a new version of the skirt dance. The body was transformed by the artfully moving silk. “unique, ethereal, delicious…she emerges from darkness, her airy evolutions now tinted blue and purple and crimson, and again the audience…insists upon seeing her pretty piquant face before they can believe that the lovely apparition is really a woman.”
Loie Fuller’s Innovations:
Fuller was an inventor and stage craft innovator who held many patents for stage lighting, including the first chemical mixes for gels and slides and the first use of luminescent salts to create lighting effects. She was also an early innovator in lighting design, and was the first to mix colors and explore new angles. Fuller was well respected in the French scientific community, where she was a close personal friend of Marie Curie and a member of the French Astronomical Society.
- Fuller had a school and a company beginning in 1908, where she taught natural movement and improvisational techniques. She did not, however, teach them her lighting and costuming “tricks.”
- Fuller was the first expatriot American dancer, and introduced Isadora Duncan to Parisian audiences.