Friday, 14 February 2014

Love Is A Rebellious Bird!

 Love Is A Rebellious Bird - Collage
February is a month of hearts and flowers, of Cupid and his bow, of love in the air, and when all things Romantic merge on February 14th.

And when I think of Romance, music fills my soul. Opera intrigues me. The stories are timeless. The music inspiring. I wanted to know more. But which Opera? It was then my Muse directed me towards Georges Bizet's "Carmen". It had everything I was looking for to warm our snowy Pennsylvania February.

First performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1875, "Carmen" is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, and murder. The Habanera certainly intrigued me. In it Carmen sings of love as a rebellious bird. She sings of freedom and being, above all, true to herself. She is fearless and would rather face death than compromise her emotions.

The debate over the representation of Carmen continues. Was she a femme fatale or a strong woman ahead of her time? Should she be considered heroic for being the master of her heart and body at a time when this was a radical notion? But is her intelligence and feminist persona compromised by her blind devotion to fatalism and superstition? When reading her fortune in a spread of cards, Carmen believes her fate is set when she sees "Diamonds and Spades", the cards of death.

One thing is certain, Carmen is a complex character who fascinates us to this day. She is a challenge and a joy to any mezzo-soprano who has the opportunity to play her.

The collage is a diptych using two gallery wrapped canvases. Using this type of canvas enabled me to continue the images on all sides. I set the background with Distress Inks and acrylic paint. The image at the bottom of the canvas, attached using the image transfer method, is from an antique book on the history of War. A vintage opera poster supplied my Carmen. I cut my own diamond stencil to use with metallic acrylic paint. I finished the collage using art papers, metallic paint, and ephemera.

Although Carmen came to a disastrous end, may you find a Valentine who cherishes you for your unique and fearless self.