Sunday, 13 May 2012

A Brush With Burlesque: London trip part 1

Yesterday I returned from London after spending a packed few days taking in some of the glamour currently housed in the city. It seems very apt that this was also London Burlesque Week and the perfect time for East Gallery on Brick Lane to host an exhibition of artists from across the UK who all have been inspired by the British burlesque scene.

 With my Bon Bon's paintings at A Brush With Burlesque

I am so happy to have been part of this exposee proudly presenting contemporary burlesque in all it's forms; From the comic to the seriously sensuous, A Brush With Burlesque covered it all, and it was fun to walk around the exhibition and recognise so many performers I either know or have seen on stage immortalised in paint and ink.

Works by Charlotte Rhodes, myself and Ella Guru at a Brush With Burlesque

I particualarly enjoyed works by Ella Guru, whose reclining burlesque figure Missy Macabre packed a punch! I could imagine this painting in a national gallery alongside Victorian nudes. There is something about it that has history, narrative, glamour but also grit; there's definately a story waiting to be told here.

 Linda O Grady's paintings at A Brush With Burlesque

I also enjoyed work by Linda O Grady whose detailed pieces captured performers almost unawares, heightening their mystery and glamour but also reminding us that they are real people too; confirming that burlesque cannot be confined by age or form.

Becky Ryan's pencil drawings were a delight to see; beautifully executed on brown art paper she creates small and complete pieces that make you want to look again and again.

Work by Mark Bell at A Brush With Burlesque

I also admired work by Mark Bell one of the curators of the show, whose paintings ooze atmosphere and elegance. Anyone who has been to see a good burlesque show will recognise the laughter anticipation and intimacy seen in his work.

 Work by Charlotte Thompson Morely, Charlotte Rhodes, Nick Beedles and Kev Grey at A Brush With Burlesque

The show was full of great artists, in truth I could talk about them all, if there was a 'like' button in the show I would have pressed it until it broke! The standard of art was incredibly high and varied and the good news is that if you missed the chance to see this treasure trove in person, the official website is staying online as a directory to all these fab artists. Plus you can catch a glimpse of the private view and more on the A Brush With Burlesque Facebook Page!

 Beatrix Von Bourbon next to her portrait at the private view. Photo by Alex Small

A big thanks to Mark and Sarah for curating the show and putting in all the effort, it certainly paid off.

 With Sarah in front on my painting 'Beauty Marked'

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