Audrey Grant: Ceci est mon corps
(Eng.Trans: This is my body)
This new body of paintings for Audrey Grant’s Open Eye Gallery Exhibition Prize, presented at the Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition in 2015, arises from the artist’s collaboration with Scottish Ballet in rehearsal at their studios in Tramway, Glasgow.
Since spring 2012 Grant has had privileged access to Scottish Ballet’s rehearsals, spending full days observing and drawing with pencil in sketchbooks the movement of the dancers as they rehearsed everything from Mekler/Lopez Ochoa’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Christopher Hampson’s The Rite of Spring and Cinderella, Glen Tetley’s Pierrot Lunaire, to Angelin Preljocaj’s MC14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) in 2016.
In the rehearsals Grant focused on trying to capture something of the energy and shape of the movement, looking at the dancers and not her drawings in order to build up networks of marks that would take the shape of recognisable bodies and movements. Some of these sketchbooks will be on display as part of the exhibition.
Taking inspiration from these drawings, Grant has created a new series of paintings focusing on the powerful and moving ballet premiered in Scotland at the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival - MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps), choreography by Angelin Preljocaj, and Christopher Hampson’s lyrical Cinderella first seen here in 2015.
MC 14/22 is a ballet for 12 male dancers and has been described as a hymn to the male body. The title is a biblical reference to the Last Supper, as told in Chapter 14, Verse 22 of the Gospel according to Mark, in which Jesus says to the disciples, ‘Take, eat: this is my body’. There is one large scale painting of that name, showing a single male dancer stretched out, lying down on the cusp of movement. An accompanying series of paintings explores the pose further.
These are juxtaposed with a series of 10 small-scale female dance movement paintings arising from Grant’s drawings of the ballet Cinderella. They provide lightness, or ‘Eros,’ to the ‘Logos’ of the darker tones in the Ceci est mon corps paintings.