|Powerful Woman Digital Collage|
The image was constructed for a Press Kit for the Egyptian Moon Dance Company Powerful Passionate Woman Retreats. As much as I like to see the traditional two piece costumes, called a bedlah, on dancers in promotional material, I wanted something different for my work. After all, I am exploring my mantra: "The Heart of Belly Dance™".
Dance and Art are so intertwined in my life that it is hard for me to separate the two. It is something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. It is the reason I do not dance under a "stage name". Many dancers like to take on another name in their dance life. For some dancers it makes them feel more authentic..that it is part of the illusion they are creating. A fellow performer said it was like putting on the finishing touches to her costume. Dancers also look at it as a rite of passage. Teachers will bestow a name they feel is fitting for their student when they reach a certain level of expertise. Unfortunately, for some dancers it is a security issue, a way of keeping their private life private. While all of the reason for using a stage name are valid, I never felt the need. The Dance is something intrinsic. Where does it end and my "real life" begin? My Art Life quandary follows the same path...where does my Dancer life take over from my Illustrator life?
And so goes for the Digital v. Conventional collage debate. For me they are both tools I use to get the work as close as I can to what I see it in my mind's eye. The collage uses a variety of materials. I incorporated art papers, handmade papers, clipping from old magazines, rubber stamped images, various fonts, postage stamps, postage cancellation stamps, tissue paper, and vintage images. Most started conventionally and ended up in the digital format. I wanted something that gave the feeling of beauty and grace. I am an aficionado of all things Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite, so it was natural to have the Muse guide me in that direction. I chose the colour scheme to enhance the overall feeling of sweet languor.
The debate continues...digital or conventional collage. Why not both? I think the Muse would agree.