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Posts tagged ‘Flamenco’

Tierra Lorca

Granada had so much to offer us. We only went for a few days and yet look how I can go on about the place on The Daily Norm for what must seem like an eternity! Two clear highlights of our trip had to be the stunning Generalife gardens, followed by those similarly lush gardens surrounding the previous family home of Federico Garcia Lorca. In both places, a truly poetic sensibility lingered in the air, making each of the senses stand on high alert as perfumes, colours and ambience were magnified in turn. Imagine then just how good it got when these two experiences came together. And that is exactly what happened when, on the night of my 33rd birthday, we headed to a flamenco concert in the Generalife gardens, whose choreography and artistic direction was entirely based on the life and work of Lorca. It was a match made in heaven.

Sitting in an audience of plenty, out in the open air on a warm balmy night in the Generalife gardens seeing before me an incredibly original modern flamenco spectacle based on the work of one of my all time favourite poets, I felt like a truly well-treated birthday boy. The stars were shining so brightly above us that they felt like part of the stage set, while in front of us, the stage itself was constructed from wings and scenery made from the perfectly erect rows of cypress trees which fill the gardens. For someone rather in love with cypress trees, this was a spectacle indeed, and I was particularly thrilled when the director of the show used various lighting effects to make the magnificent natural surroundings part of the show’s scenery.

The performance, with its mix of traditional and modern flamenco was a true spectacle, and the essence of Lorca transmitted was particularly engaging. The effect of the show was long lasting, and when finally we arrived in Marbella after our stay in Granada, I was moved to paint a small work based on the performance.

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Tierra Lorca (2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

So the painting I post today is entitled, like the show, Tierra Lorca, for Granada is indeed the land from which Lorca came. With its simple shapes and a frame like the proscenium arch around a stage, this painting focuses on the line of poker straight cypress trees which so enthralled me, and the energetic movement of the incredibly agile flamenco dancers, illustrated by the rose like kinetic shape flowing onto (or off?) the stage. On the right, a black and white photo of Lorca reminds of the protagonist of the piece – a poignant memorial to a genius who himself put so many masterpieces on the stage.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 3 days – Flamenco Norm

In 2005 when I was studying law at university, I started doodling The Norm. It was a character straight out of my imagination, but inspired by Kelsen’s Theory of Normativity which I was studying in jurisprudence. The inspiration wasn’t so much garnered from topic, which was inherently boring, but more out of the need to distract myself from falling asleep in lectures. With the advent of the Norm came a series of paintings, exhibited in 2006 at my Sussex solo exhibition, Between Me and My Reflection, before the collection dried up.

The next stage of this important Norm story is November 2011. I was on a career break, waiting for a new job to begin, and wondering how to make the most of the time suddenly available to me. It was my friend Cassandra who suggested that I rejuvinate the Norms, some 5 years after I had last painted them. The idea was sewn, and this very blog, The Daily Norm, was the result. I posted my first ever article on 14 November 2011, and from that moment onwards I went into artistic overdrive, drawing, painting and designing Norms for this blog.

Flamenco Norm (2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Flamenco Norm (2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

One of the first creations of the Norm rebirth was this painting: Flamenco Norm. Painting on the tail-end of my Spanish collection, and in fact created while I was in my house in Marbella, this painting represents the perfect transition between the Spanish section of my new London exhibition (starting in 3 days!) and the most comprehensive section of the whole show: my Norms! With its deep yellow cracking walls covered with flamenco memorabilia, its bare bulb and wooden floor, this to me is the typical Spanish flamenco setting, while the melancholy guitar and the energetic swish of the flamenco dress represents the heart and soul of this vibrant indefatigable dance. It’s still one of my favourite Norm paintings.

So as the title of my new exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, apty represents, this was the period when both pain, and spain transcended into a new era of Norms which has been growing strong ever since. See the entire collection at my new solo show – opening on Tuesday.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.

Composition No. 8: La Flamenca

Enrapturing, passionate, chromatic; clapping hands, a deep pulsating rhythm manifested in stamping feet, forceful bursts at the hip, all the way up to the twisting, extending, angular movements in the fingers; her face revels in an outward disclosure of passion felt deep within; her wailing, harsh swansong sings of deep sorrow; of inherent, historical pain; her dress, an abundant effluvia cascade of polka dots and frills moves to the same captivating rhythm as the dancer, its multiple layers swaying and bouncing, augmenting the dazzling mirage of a tangible passion climaxing towards its duende.

The dance of flamenco has long fascinated me, captivated my very heart and soul as it leaves me spell bound, pinned to the spot, enraptured by the raw materialisation of an emotional depth and cultural heritage which is so different from any dance ever made in the polite ballrooms of the west. When I went to see a concert of Estrella Morenete this Spring in London, I sat throughout much of the performance in tears. There is something about flamenco – its melodies and rhythms just as much as its dance which has the power to transport directly into the heart of Spain, and I think for this reason alone, I am in love with it.

Composition No. 8 - La Flamenca (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Composition No. 8 (La Flamenca) (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

This summer’s return to Spain of course never failed to inspire me artistically as the last few posts on The Daily Norm will demonstrate – and where that inspiration led to paintings, I continued to explore the medium of gouache which I first started using a few months back. When I headed along to the Flamenco Ana Maria in Marbella’s old town on the night before my birthday, and was again entranced by the exquisitely spontaneous emotional outpouring of the music and the dance, I knew that Flamenco would inspire my next gouache. So following on from my series of “compositions” in which I take more of an abstract attitude to otherwise figurative works, I constructed my dancer (on a page twice the size of my other compositions numbers 3-7) utilising the idea of an overlapping construct which I have been exploring in my other works, something which worked well when I was unable to settle on one pose, and so instead depicted several poses, all overlapping into a collective exploration of the electric impassioned movements of a flamenco dancer.

Her dress, my favourite feature, is a cornucopia of different reds, polka dots and of course those lacey frills, while the background attempts to reflect not only the angular, chromatic, discordant sounds of the flamenco rhythms and moves of the dance, but also echoes the kind of rich elaborate Moorish wooden ceilings which were introduced in Spain during the Islamic occupation of Al Andalus, and are now an iconic feature of the Islamic architecture which has helped to shape the cultural character of the South, and is indeed accredited to having given birth to the songs and movements of the Flamenco we know and love.

So without further ado, I leave you to look at my new composition, and also, below, a series of photographs from our recent visit to the Flamenco in Marbella. Hasta luego.

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© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

New Norm Exclusive: Flamenco Norm

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Image via Wikipedia

From the first Norm I painted to the newest… during the last two days of the Daily Norm’s Spanish season, I will be presenting the two new Norm paintings which I have been working on while in Spain. This is something of an exclusive for the Daily Norm, and for me, as this is the first time I am presenting my “next generation Norms” to the public. Unlike the limited collection of original Norm canvases, the next generation Norms are slightly more sophisticated, benefitting no doubt from several years of interim painterly experience, although maintaining the same air of lighthearted joie de vivre as the original collection.

The first next generation Norm is Flamenco Norm. Flamenco Norm is something of a star. She exudes the energetic, impassioned movement of the flamenco, the multiple folds and frills of her polka-dot skirt swirling through the air as her body pulses with the intense and powerful rhythm provided by the guitar player behind her. Her arm is thrust upwards as the energy and spirit of the dance reaches the tips of her twisting fingers, while in her face, her eyes close in the intensity of the moment of duende, when all the raw, almost orgasmic emotions of the dance culminate in a moment of pure, uninhibited passion. Around her, the setting is an old flamenco club like those found in the smallest little villages of Andalucía, where the priority is not in the outmoded decor of the yesteryears, but in the moment of the dance. Hence the walls are starting to bulge and crack, the posters on the wall advertise past flamenco stars, alcoholic beverages and other flamenco paraphernalia, a single bulb hangs from the ceiling lighting only the star of the show, and the wooden floor is battered down by generations of dancing spectacles upon its resonant boards.

Flamenco Norm (2011, acrylic on canvas) © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown

This is not the first time I have been inspired to paint the flamenco. Below is my 2004 painting Duende, painted to a degree in the style of Picasso, the dancer’s face betraying dual emotions as she both fights and indulges in the intensity of emotion rupturing at the moment of duende.

Duende (2004, acrylic on canvas) © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from the The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.