An Exhibition of paintings inspired by Commedia dell’arte
Saturday 29 October 2016 – Thursday 5th January 2017
The Trestle Gallery Cafe are rounding off a year of varied exhibitions with a collection from local artist Emma Franc, with inspiration taken from Trestle’s iconic mask workshops and our engagement with young people.
This series of work draws inspiration from Commedia dell’arte (Italian pronunciation: [kom_m__dja del_larte]) which is a form of theatre characterised by masked “types” which began in Italy in the 16th century. Where theatre was performed on the streets and masks were first used in improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios, it was interesting to discover how easily a masked performer can be immediately captivating without a stage or any props. By using the whole body to exaggerate movements the character can be learnt and the story communicated.
“As an artist, the theatre has always been a special place to me. The darkness of the auditorium and the energy of the stage provide the perfect balance for rich and powerful work. The lights on the stage draw your eye in and provide contrasted outlines to subjects carefully placed within the composition. I love the way nothing on the stage is left to chance. It’s a perfectly composed canvas. The director has the ultimate control. Fantasy triumphs over reality. The everyday is left behind. “
After studying for a Fine Art Degree from Coventry University followed by an MA in Painting from Wimbledon School of Art, Emma continued to paint and exhibit her work in London for over 10 years. She has recently returned to St Albans where she grew up and is now exhibiting her work locally. She has recently completed an artist in Residency at Abbey Theatre, St Albans.