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)
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Dylan Moran on quitting smoking, being about as sexy as the Pope and why comedy panel programmes are 'c*ck shows'
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear return: Suspended host set for live event in Norway next week
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans