Monday, 29 August 2011

Skinning the Cat Exhibition at Brighton Festival

'Sky Hooked'

Becky Truman, Founder and Artistic Director of the UK’s first-ever contemporary aerial performance company Skinning the Cat produced an extraordinary exhibition early this year. Ian Broscombe and I were fortunate in going along to help.

We spent a full day meticulously creating a striped lining inside of our “gallery big top”, the apex festooned with string of coloured lights. Our gallery adjoined the foyer tent of The Netherlands National Circus in Preston Park, as a centre piece to The Brighton Festival.

The following day, costumes, film and photographs from over twenty years of Skinning the Cat performances were artfully displayed. A luxuriant dressing room complete with make up and costume rail was re-created in one corner.

The exhibition beautifully integrated with Becky’s new art work in which she explores the issues of ageing and injury for the physical performer, and shows how she has evolved beyond aerial performance as a creative artist. Illuminated life casts of Skinning the Cat aerialists blended contemporary concepts within a heritage circus aesthetic.

The highlight was the extraordinarily beautiful film Ground Bound filmed by Jean McEwen with creative direction by Becky herself and my contribution as Ground Bound’s aerial/movement choreographer. I feel very honoured to have been involved in a project resounding with extraordinary ideas and  integrity.

The opening night was electric, a resounding success with former Skinning the Cat aerialists gathering amongst circus acolytes and fan’s. The exhibition attracted extraordinarily positive feedback from visitors. It was a fantastic bonus to families who were attending The Netherlands National Circus many of whom were so entranced by the opulence and grandeur of the exhibition, that they returned for a second visit at the interval having discovered the exhibition before the first act of the circus.

If you are interested in hosting this exhibition contact

For further information about Skinning the Cat see

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