Sawdust and Sequins: The Art of the Circus

This contemporary exhibition on display at the Royal West of England Academy Bristol is an exploration of circus life and displays both humorous and serious angles of those involved. The exhibition included painting, sculpture and photography, each expressing an array of reactions to the noise and movement of the circus.

A piece of particular interest was Sadie Tierney’s Starflyer, a silk screen print featuring a tightrope walker and trapeze artists in a constructed tent. This print struck me as relevant for its interesting use of light, colour and line with the scaffolding bringing a strong architectural quality to the scene.

Similarly, another of her pieces entitled High Wire I uses minimal line and silhouette to reveal a sense of movement and transience that I would like to incorporate into my own work.

When making pieces in future, both sculptural and two dimensional, I intend to experiment with bringing in similar gestural, simplistic marks as a way of communicating actions.

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