Roll up, roll up......lecturer captures the fun of the circus
The drawings of University for the Creative Arts (UCA) lecturer Curtis Tappenden are now touring the UK with the internationally renowned Zippos Circus.
Curtis, who teaches on UCA Rochester's FE programmes, was commissioned to make the drawings on location, documenting the acts as they performed live in the Big Top. The work is the highlight of this season's Zippos 'Gold' presentation brochure – a show with the celebratory Olympic theme for 2012.
Curtis has long held an interest in documenting the life of the circus, and explores the preparatory backstage moments as well as those captured ringside. He said: "Working with the circus as an artist adds to a longstanding relationship between the visual and performing arts, as colourfully drawn and painted by past masters such as Toulouse Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Edward Seago and Dame Laura Knight. "
Martin Burton, founder and director of Zippos Circus, said: "Curtis Tappenden's sketches are remarkable. All his drawings of Zippos Circus were done with great speed but with a depth of feeling and subject understanding that I never see from even the best photographers. My circus is delighted to feature Curtis's sketches, which work at their very best when taken with a splash of colour."
Curtis has always been keen to involve his students in the fun of the circus and for many years his classes have drawn inside the Big Top at Zippos Circus. He said: "It's great to get out of comfortable and familiar environments. The circus offers excellent potential to make structurally complex drawings. For instance students can focus on the trapeze rigging or the shape and scale of the tent etcetera.
"One time the celebrated clown, Janerik Brenner, saw an opportunity for students to begin to learn about his craft of clowning and set up a 'life class' in the circus ring. It was brilliant and led to printmaking workshops after the event."
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939