Observations: In art, life is always a cabaret
Friday 03 April 2009
For her latest exhibition, on show in the National's Lyttelton foyer, her paintings delve into historical and imagined worlds of the English music hall, the heyday of Weimar cabaret and backstage burlesquerie. Its title, Tingle-Tangle, is the German name for a particularly low-rent, and occasionally sleazy, form of variety show, featuring characters such as Inferna: the Human Torch; Mimi: Daredevil Queen of the Slack Rope; and Cecilia the Astonishing.
Halls travelled to Paris and Berlin, collecting original material and visiting old cabaret haunts. "But I was about 70 years too late for the performances I wanted to see." On her return, she set about crafting her own authentic costumes and props and roped in friends to create theatrical tableaux, which she then painted "from life". Photographs of the process accompany the finished paintings and demonstrate the extraordinary lengths Halls has gone to to recreate a lost world of the theatre. For one, she hand-made a mechanical replacement for a chorus line in which a row of identical, wooden-jointed female figures was sandwiched between and manipulated by two human dancers at either end for theatres that couldn't afford the full live complement.
To 30 May (www.roxanahalls.com)
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sick elderly man makes 'complete turnaround' after emotional reunion with dog
- 2 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 3 Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
- 4 Ebola cruise ship ‘in utter panic’ as Mexico and Belize refuse to let it dock
- 5 Death of northern white rhino leaves just six of endangered animals left in the world
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'