“Even your own arms, deep inside your body feel foreign to you, feel that they do not belong to you. Here lies an important secret. Butoh’s radical essence is hidden here.” – Hijikata Tatsumi
“In terms of the mournful nature of Butoh, there is an element of catharsis. It is closer to a process of mourning rather than a complete and utter resignation. First you enter into the world of darkness and then from that point you seek joy, happiness and satisfaction.” – Hijikata Tatsumi
Hastings based artist Joe Edward creates depictions of the outer body that attempt to describe the inner confusions and incoherent noise of the human internal experience. His most recent collection of work is inspired by the modern Japanese dance-theatre, ‘Butoh’.
Butoh was developed in 1959 by Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo as a move away from dance styles overly influenced by traditional and Western ideas, it is a complex and beautiful reduction to the essence of the individual human experience. It is primal and earthbound, immersive and meditative with ideas of exuding energy from within and depicting humanity by truly experiencing how it feels from the inside outwards at the same time as channelling the space between us and the world. The chalk white full body make-up and awkward sharp lined angular movements made by the performers, often alone, reflect the visual ideas Joe implements in his drawings.
Joe produces many of his drawing materials from the woods surrounding his studio and home including charcoal, chalk clay, pigments from oak-galls, acorns and iron-oxide, earth, grasses and dust. By using the restriction of his surroundings in deciding the limits of his palette, it has allowed him to focus on the expressive nature of basic line, form and texture and gives a unrefined human presence to his work that reflects the wildness, the beauty and the honesty displayed in Butoh.
Launch Tuesday 29th Jan, 7pm-10pm, free entry
Open daily until 7th Feb, 9am-5pm, free entry