Robyn Varpins and I will be holding an exhibition of colour pencil drawings and sculpture at EarlyWork Art Gallery (9/330 South Terrace, South Fremantle, AUSTRALIA) from 17 September until 2 October 2016; preview works at the gallery from Monday 12th September.
The gallery will be open seven days per week: 10 a.m to 4 p.m. All work is for sale.
If you click on the title of the drawing (in bold type beneath each image) you will be taken to the original post about it.
Passage At the far end of this narrow passage is a fine restaurant. A waitress, kimono-wrapped, rushes out of a door and disappears around the corner. From where I stand, the scene is otherworldly. SOLD
Amethyst A geiko in a violet kimono elegantly walks by on her way to an ochaya (tea-house). SOLD
Minamiza Lantern An enormous lantern hangs outside the Minamiza Theatre on Shijo-dori. At night when lit, its radiant bobbing form commands centre stage.
A Reflective Moment Katsutomo adopts a thoughtful pose on the day of her erikae – (the day she becomes a geiko). SOLD
Interplay A lantern glows in Gion. The title refers to the interplay of colours, lights and shadows within the composition. SOLD
A New Day in Gion A study of lanterns on a bright morning. The ‘no entry’ sign, illuminated by sunlight, does its best to compete with the intense reds of its lantern neighbours. SOLD
Encounter Geiko and corgi regard one another as they pass on a fine spring morning in Pontocho. SOLD
Diamonds Literally, there are diamond patterns in the paving stones. Figuratively, the title refers to the jewel-like rarity of maiko. Their grace, elegance and fabulous outfits light up any space, even a city street. The three maiko are Satsuki, Katsutomo and Mameroku. SOLD
Being There Katsutomo on the second day of her erikae. She poses with her red parasol to the delight of her audience.
Bliss A bride is given an encouraging smile by a young mother pushing her toddler in a stroller. The bride wears an iro-uchikake which is a splendidly expensive coat-like garment covering her white bridal kimono. SOLD
Winter Light Lanterns bob on Hanamikoji-dori on a cold and drizzly February day. Winter has its own subtle beauty.
Private Thoughts When a maiko or geiko walks in public, she is stared at and photographed by onlookers. She casts her eyes down, mentally blocking out everyone. We cannot penetrate her private thoughts.
Costume Drama Teenage Kiyono on the day of her misedashi (debut). It is her first day as a maiko. The season is spring so sakura (cherry blossom) is abundant. SOLD
Paper and Neon A paper lantern and neon signs coexist harmoniously within Pontocho’s narrow corridor.
Transition Pontocho as the light fades and the colours change. The transitional light of dusk is magical, especially when lanterns and neon combine to dazzle our eyes. SOLD
Coiffed Satsuki wears her hair in sakkou style which means she is nearly ready to become a geiko. (Sakkou is the most senior maiko hairstyle, worn for just two weeks before an erikae.) SOLD.
Jewel Satsuki waits to cross Shijo-dori at night. Her hair is dressed in the fabulous sakkou style. This style is worn for just two weeks before her erikae. SOLD
Love Story Couples stroll together in Pontocho on a spring evening as lights and lanterns come to life. SOLD
Oh! You Pretty Things Satsuki pauses to admire a sheltie dog whose attire, like hers, attracts attention. Here is an example of “only in Kyoto”. SOLD
Fantastic Voyage An artistic journey. It is the misedashi (debut) of a Pontocho maiko. She begins her maiden voyage as a performing artist. SOLD
Ephemeron ‘Short-lived’. A girl is a maiko from 16 to 20 years, such a brief time. SOLD.
Ephemera ‘Short-lived’. Katsuyuki and Mameyuri, seen here in 2007, have since that time quit their traditional roles and re-entered modern life. SOLD
Speed of Life Satsuki, radiant with happiness, flies across the Shijo-dori pedestrian crossing to attend her next ozashiki. It is the night of her erikae. She is now a geiko!
Hurry Up! On a rainy summer night in Gion there is a flurry of activity as maiko and geiko rush from one ozashiki to another. There is never time to dawdle between engagements. Customers are waiting. SOLD
Doll of Paradise An exquisite and expensive Japanese doll on display in a shop window. Is the doll an imitation of a maiko? Perhaps maiko are actually imitations of dolls. Which came first? SOLD
Super Deluxe Word association: the words on the taxi perfectly describe maiko and geiko. These female practitioners of traditional Japanese arts are cultivated and refined beings. They are super deluxe.
Step by Step (Limited edition of 25 archival prints) In Miyagawa-cho two women approach one another. One is young and supple, the other elderly and bent. Together they are a metaphor for the passage of time.
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