A Brush with Burlesque Art Exhibition

London Burlesque Week, known as the World Burlesque Games for 2012, is fast approaching.  This year, alongside the fantastic events that burlesque fans have come to expect from the UKs biggest burlesque festival, something very special is taking place that we at Burlesque Bible are particularly excited about.  We have made no secret of our love and interest in burlesque inspired art and we are certainly not the only ones.  This year fans of burlesque and art will have the chance to attend a unique exhibition in the centre of London – A Brush with Burlesque. 

Charlotte Thomson

Everyone involved with the British burlesque industry seems to know and love Mark and Sarah Bell, two lovely and extremely hard working people who run Kinky & Quirky’s Burlesque and Boogie in Devon and Dr Sketchy Exeter, as well as an art studio called A Kick up the Arts.  Mark is a full time portrait painter and Sarah solely dedicates her time to organising, marketing and promoting their arty burlesque exploits, which they have been involved with since 2007.

Being based in Devon, Mark was frustrated with the limitations he found as an artist outside of London and in 2008 and 2009 he successfully sold work at the London Burlesque Festival, but that was not enough, he wanted to be able to offer other artists in similar situations a way of reaching a large audience and the pair have been hatching plans for A Brush with Burlesque since autumn, 2011.  “We wanted to have a platform to reach both the burlesque-loving and established art-loving audiences so the gallery needed to bring the two markets together comfortably.”  After a lot of hard working locating the right venue they are delighted that the exhibition will be in East Gallery, Brick Lane, which they describe as “Perfect; a spacious light gallery that opens out onto one of the capital’s most colourful streets, teeming with vintage shops, markets, bars and smack back in the centre of the East London gallery scene.”  The exhibition will run from 3rd – 13th May, alongside this year’s World Burlesque Games, however the exhibition is totally free and anyone can attend.

Laëtitia Guilbaud

The artists involved in the exhibition vary in style and experience, from the richly textured paintings of Mark Bell and Fiona Wilson, to the intricate illustrations of Charlotte Thomson and the cheeky, fun portraits of Becky Ryan, who previously featured in Burlesque Bible’s article on Burlesque Inspired Art.

Linda O Grady

“With nine featured artists each bringing their own interpretation this collection reflects the diverse events in towns and cities across the UK and the energy, the costumes and the nuances of individual performers are portrayed with a genuine love for the genre and a generous dollop of insider knowledge.”  Other artists included in the festival include Joe Armitage, Pip Bailey, Laetitia Guilbad, Kev Grey and Linda O’Grady.  We are also reliably informed that there is going to be some surprise additions to the exhibition that we need to look out for!

Mark and Sarah hope that the exhibition will lead to a directory of burlesque artists that will grow and become a useful resource for the burlesque community, and there is already talk of another exhibition in the future, perhaps based on burlesque inspired photography.  Watch this space for more on that exciting project, but in the meantime make sure you visit the East Gallery on Brick Lane between 3rd – 13th May to find out what all the fuss is about.

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Pip Bailey

Kev Grey

 

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Joe Armitage

 

Find A Brush with Burlesque on facebook here