Magic, mayhem and the original living doll. This is the inspiration for a new exhibition at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, entitled Pointe Blank.
The company invited 27 designers and artists to produce an individual artwork based upon the tale of Coppélia, in which toymaker Doctor Coppélius attempts to bring his most prized possession to life.
Claire Hartley, an independent curator, approached the contributors directly, with the only stipulation given in the brief that the work must include some reference to the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
The results that have been unveiled are colourful and original, with a broad range of ideas that keep the exhibition fresh and eye-catching.
Curator Claire Hartley says, ‘Me and Rob [Lindsay, New Media officer for the Birmingham Royal Ballet] met to discuss the initial idea right at the end of April, and approached the artists about ten days later with the brief.’
She adds, ‘They had a week to express their interest in taking part, then three weeks to create their artwork.’
Lindsay highlights how enthusiastic artists were when they were approached. ‘When we first sent out the invites we explained that spaces were limited, and gave people a week to let us know if they were interested,’ he says.
‘I think we filled all the spaces within three days,’ he adds, indicating just how strong the support was for the project, the first of its kind for the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
The story of Coppélia lends itself well to the brief, being an original, lively story that designers and artists have played with to create some fantastic imagery.
Coppélia runs until 28 June at Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham, B54TD