Recording the progress of a project commissioned by North York Open Studios and based in the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond.
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Layers and Scenery
I was so struck by this painted woodland scenery when I saw it in the Museum, particularly by the fact that all the trees depicted are identifiable. I thought that was amazing, considering that, as scenery flats, they wouldn't be seen that closely. Scenery seems to have been a huge attraction in itself, at least from the descriptions in the playbills that often highlight it as a particular draw.
Having focussed on text from the first ever performances on the opening night, I wanted to jump forward a couple of hundred years - to the re-opening night in 1963 when the restored revived theatre flung its doors open to the world again. Its incredible to think that for 175 years the theatre was silent, and, for much of this time, it wasn't recognisable as a theatre. On that reopening, three poems were specially written by Ivor Brown - a Prologue, an Epilogue and a Gratitude. So there's my text for three pieces, which will incorporate some of those words. Visually I've been looking to the posters as a reference point, but also wanting to incorporate links to the scenery, so I'm bringing in some woodland. Each piece will become a different tree. So I'm doing lots of sampling - and next, some painting...