A year or so ago I saw a tweet from Rob, Birmingham Royal Ballet‘s New Media Officer, announcing a new project, Pointe Blank, in which BRB had commissioned a number of illustrators and designers to respond to the plot and themes of the ballet Coppélia. The work was shown in Birmingham and also online, at pointeblank.co.uk.
The work was wonderful, and showed a really interesting variety of responses to the brief. From a ballet marketing point of view, it opened up a new way to discuss the themes of the production and from a creative point of view gave the artists the opportunity to engage with a different creative form in a new way.
Following that exhibition, BRB repeated the project earlier this year, this time using their production of Hobson’s Choice as inspiration. The images were again shown in a gallery and online.
Next month BRB are bringing their production of Swan Lake to Wales Millennium Centre, so they decided to commission a new Pointe Blank collection, inviting illustrators and designers from Cardiff and South Wales to respond to the plot in the same way as before. On Monday I went to the opening of the exhibition at Milkwood Gallery in Roath, and it was great to see responses to the story by some artists I know, and others I don’t.
One of the highlights is Laura Sorvola’s hand-drawn illustration which depicts the entire plot of the ballet inside the lettering of its title. Laura has blogged creating this piece here. I also really liked Matt Joyce’s graphic pattern piece, and Joanne Hawker’s masked swan. You can view the full Swan Lake collection here.
I really like the big idea behind this – inviting creatives from one artform to respond to another artform in their own way, and it has prompted me to think about ways in which visual artists could be invited to respond to theatre, or perhaps theatre makers respond to visual art or music.
Images by Claire Hartley. The full gallery is on the Pointe Blank Facebook page.
This post was originally published on National Theatre Wales Community.