Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A great idea beautifully executed

This afternoon I visited an art gallery in the Inner West of Sydney.

Cindy Tonkin's book art: Macbeth's
Flying Buttresses: constructed from a
calligraphy piece 2014.
More at cindytonkinart.blogspot.com
The gallery showed some artist's books. As a book artist myself I was hoping to be impressed by beauty and cleverness, a great idea beautifully executed.
I was disappointed (which is why I won't tell you the name of the artist or the gallery!).
When I visit an art gallery I want to fall in love with a piece. I want to feel something. Today the pieces were technically brilliant, but they were almost scientific experiments. One book, beautifully bound, contained photographs of the same object with different aperture settings. The site was one with sentimental value to the artist, but not aesthetically pleasing in any way. Chances are that the book was bound by a professional, not the artist himself.
I felt cheated. And manipulated.
What could have been wonderful was  not in any way satisfying.

This kind of feeling is why I began my own improvised show, Likewise.
I have been improvising for nearly 15 years. I was terrible when I began. But improvising is like a drug: occasionally you have a brilliant experience, and it hooks you in. Not everybody gets hooked, but I am!

I love it because of the risk (who knows what might happen - a spontaneous perfect souffle, or a made up muffin with blueberries and cheese?).
I love it because it showcases ingenuity.
I love it because it tickles my brain to see it.

I have come home from theatre pieces knowing that the piece had the freshness of improv, and I have been to improvised pieces which were so good I thought they could have been rehearsed (except no improviser would do that!).

Likewise is my new live improvised art work: I want to make you feel something when you're in the audience. Beautiful ideas will be beautifully executed. We will play with your mind and leave you happy.

Sure, we can easily make you laugh. But I'd like also to make you feel. To wonder at the connections between the world and the people in it. Your right brain will love you!

The show is spontaneous, improvised theatre, aimed at grown ups 30+. If that’s you, then you’ll get all the cultural references, the jokes and the seriousness of living in our times.


Cindy Tonkin
Shows are Third Thursday of every month, at the Roxbury Hotel, 182 St John's Road, Glebe
$10 at the door, or 2 for $10 if you buy your tickets in advance at eventbrite (follow this link, or search Likewise).