Can You Hear the Music?

“How can we know the dancer from the dance? ”

– William Butler Yeats

I love to photograph and/or paint the human figure, but I particularly like to work with the body as it dances. I can’t think of another marriage of artistic mediums that works together so well to represent the essence of the dancer as artist. Capturing for a moment the human body as it propels itself through space, limbs dreaming their dreams, feet tapping out their poetry, the dancer as not just the artist, but the art itself.

Can you hear the music even though there is none playing? Can your mind fill in the blank soundless spaces because of what the eye sees? Can this one image contain what has come before and what will happen next? Can it inspire the imagination to recreate the dancing as it actually happened? There is a way in which the distillation of movement down into a single image interacts with the mind to cause it to play a more active role in how the art is viewed. It’s a little like listening to the radio vs. watching TV – your mind has more to do to create the desired experience. I think this is why I am so drawn to capturing motion in my artwork.

3 responses to “Can You Hear the Music?

  1. I wrote you once a comment about your love and my love to dance and the will (and need) to capture motion in art… I had no occasion to get back to it, but it does not matter now, here you are back again with that wonderful art piece of dance. Looking at it I really can feel motion… great technique!
    Strange, I can’t answer for myself the questions you ask.. since I am a little child, totally in love with maths, I think my brain has got the (bad?) habit to abstract everything, to transform sounds, images, smells, etc in abstract structures, complexes, processes… in fact I have the feeling that my brain transforms everything in processes… I became aware of that only very late in my life, after the intensive meeting with a painter, who, of course, saw everything real or imaginary with his inner eye. I got quite depressed to notice that I have no inner eye, no inner ear, no inner nose… quite an handicap for an artist!
    But my mind does fill the blank space yet…
    This autumn I will start a new series about sport paintings, extreme sports… I am really looking forward to it, to make again all elements jumps all over the place!
    Do you prefer the kind of motion like in dancing?

  2. I too can’t answer your well formed questions. They take me to a place that I can’t quite enter but I want to. There is a misty film or is a guard at the gate of greater knowing, that prevents me from leaping into the experience of what might come next. My mind won’t play. I want it to, but it prefers all the chatter content instead. My mind processes the image in bits of information that I love to process, I think something like what you are talking about Miki. I fear it is the critiquing mind. The mind that I am asking to come forward is my body, for she can feel into the experience, into the movement, then maybe I will ask my head to answer the questions. My take away work here, is to pay more attention to the movement and my inner felt experience and to allow the passions of the artist’s sensory tools to come forward.

  3. Miki

    I have to laugh almost when you say you have no “inner eye”! I look at the vast range of your artwork, it’s amazing creativity and the way in which you play with and create realities that just aren’t there in front of you and I imagine that you have an “inner eye” that just won’t quit!

    I guess we always look at the work of another artist and make assumptions about what this means is going on inside of them. I suspect it is often quite different than how the artist themselves characterize their own process of creation. Probably neither are actually true but rather a reflection of our own filters.

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