Collaboration is at the heart of great art. Across his career, renowned choreographer Barry Moreland nurtured this idea. Working alongside visual artist Charles Blackman, Moreland produced otherworldly ballets. These included Daisy Bates, Spindrift, Alice in Wonderland, Visions and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This series of drawings come from a fruitful period in the Australian arts. Throughout the 1980s, at the helm the West Australian Ballet, Moreland melded art with dance. Here, alleviated from the mechanics of set design, Moreland encouraged his collaborators to dream big. And they did. Blackman spent his mornings drawing the dancers and his afternoons designing backdrops that would hang illuminated at forty feet in length. For Moreland, painters thought “poetically” and for him, dance was the poetry of bodies. It was a match made in heaven.
These lyrical sketches are from the time of Blackman’s station with the ballet. They were drawn as Blackman observed ballet rehearsals. They honour not only a rich period for Australian art, but the beauty of collaboration. Beaming through, is the meeting of the dance, art and dreaming.