Robe for the Blue Shaman Guardian (2020)
Robe for the Blue Shaman Guardian 2020
watercolour, acrylic, metallic pigments on cotton calico, re-purposed mixed materials, cotton velvet, cotton thread
Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
© Kate Beynon/Copyright Agency, 2020
I wanted to create a new experimental textile work, a mix between a talismanic costume and sculpture, especially for the Kindred Spirits exhibition at Geelong Gallery, so the Robe for the Blue Shaman Guardian evolved as a kind of ‘offering’. Recently, I’ve loved collaborating on ethical fashion projects, with these experiences in colour and design also motivating the merging of art and fashion ideas into this 3D form.
The figure of the Blue Shaman first appeared as a masked dancing spirit in the An-Li series, partly inspired by the owl-like alchemist/engineer/creator in one of my favourite paintings by Surrealist artist Remedios Varo Uranga, The Creation of the Birds (1957), alongside stories of ancient Chinese Wu female shamans, who had ways of engaging with spirits through music and dance.