Leon Bakst drawings I have always admired, and recently when I watched the Chanel / Stravinsky story my interest in the Ballet Russe became more prominent in my life again. I find the colours so inspiring. Diaghilev was a very clever man, he put together composers and artists the most avant-garde of their time, Braque, Stravinsky, Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Nijinsky the famous dancer and produced the most inspiring and challenging ballets. He was not at all afraid to break with convention and his passion paid off, however at his death it limped along but was never the same again.
The boldness, the colours, the loose shapes, ballet costumes had never been seen like this before. I just love them, the colours sing out, I so would love to have been around to see their opening nights, especially THE RITES OF SPRING, apparently this caused a riot and they had to close down the theatre!! It’s hard to believe that now, but here is a collection of some the hundreds of costumes that were designed and made especially for each ballet.
Could they be transformed into paper sculptures, could the colour combinations be transformed into my design work and paintings, somehow they will have an influence, my creative mind is like a sponge, its absorbs everything around me so that one day it will be expressed in some form again as I continue along this creative path
Cannot believe you would have been 50 yesterday mr Bowery. HOw time flies, you sure made an iconic figure, scary even, you were such a tall, huge man who certainly made his presence felt………… enjoyed your postumous birthday bash at the ICA yesterday, people watching, the music from taboo, the acts, the colour and the sunshine…. not sure about the “West life” guy performing the penultimate song, not sure what all that was about.
my memories of you started through Michael Clark, and the wonderful costumes you designed for him in his early days at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith ( watch the video clip) , and your presence on the stage…………….. You made it ok not to fit the mould and make your own fashion, you accentuated and extended your large body shape until it became and art form. Australia and your city of SUNSHINE certainly produced something very bright and colourful…………….
LIEGH BOWERY 1961 – 1994