During the early 1980s, a creative union blossomed between two friends – famed artist Charles Blackman and the then artistic director of the West Australian Ballet, Barry Moreland. They worked together on five ballets - Daisy Bates, Alice, Spindrift, Celestial Mirror and Midsummer Night’s Dream - with Blackman helping to design sets.
‘Inspiration’, an ink drawing accompanied by an original poem, is a document from this time. It is expansive and evocative, a speculative expression that crosses domains mortal and mythic. The poem, titled ‘The Mythical Figures of the Heavans’ [sic], cites Greek mythology, aesthetics and the cosmos. Blackman muses that visual expression unites myth and dance, the two spheres of inspiration.
The drawing depicts two figures constructed from frenzied dashes. One is a bacchanalian figure, while the other stands with hands on hips. For Blackman, this is a “comedy drama”, they are two lovers, earth and star, sun and moon, angel and devil. The cascading lines recall a milky way; dichotomies dance like planets orbiting one another.
‘Inspiration’ was created in preparation for Celestial Mirror, for which Blackman designed the front-cloth. It speaks the language of artist and choreographer: poetic metaphor. As Moreland reflects “Inspiration… is an accurate illustration of how our artistic psyches intermingled. A constant flow back and forth until the final onstage images were resolved”. In a 1991 article, art writer Nadine Amadio described Moreland and Blackman as searching for “the thread that [leads] them to the heart of the dream”. ‘Inspiration’ is a souvenir from this mission.
Newly framed with the poem presented behind perspex, ‘Inspiration’ will enliven collections of Blackman, works on paper and those entranced by dance. It is a truly special work.
Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
ink on paper
Image Size: 33 x 24 cm
Dimensions: 65 x 47 x 4 cm
Signed: Initialled lower right corner.
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Accompanied by original poem by Charles Blackman, hand-written.
Availability: in stock
Condition:Very Good: Describes a work of art’s image As New, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to paint surface. Image is in Fine condition.
© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2021