The Dancer's Backskin
The Dancer's Backskin, 2011, 21cm x 29cm, 8"x11.5"
ink, watercolour on Moleskin notebook paper.
click for larger size
the dancer's backskin,
like a boiled
The drawing was an accident - I had bought a new Moleskine notebook, the largest ever for me. When I brushed water over watercolour pencil the paper shredded badly and cracked like an eggshell when dry. Intrigued with the effect, and having seen Natalie Portman's incredible performance in Black Swan, the self-mutilation, the hallucinations, the madnesses, I thought of the underside of the dancer's life. Or her backskin.
In the image you see here, I layered a scan of the frontside of the drawing facing forwards (you can see it in the lines at the borders) under the backside which I made slightly opaque. I banded the dancer's face (some horror there, she is buried alive in her inhuman effort to be graceful for us), and her feet (to remind us of ballet as an echo of Geisha footbinding).