The Peacock and the Sun Goddess BodyStory was an experiment for a class presentation at the Face and Body Art International Convention in 2012 (FABAIC). For my class on storytelling I tried out a new idea (new for me – see below) of taking the methods I use for telling a story via facepainting onto a painted body — using a fully painted body in choreographed movements to accompany my narrative. I had done this with several performers and much assistance to perform the story Li Chi Slays the Dragon as part of our Bodies Alive! production at FABAIC 2008, but that felt more like a theatre piece and this was meant to stay closer to the stylistic quality of storytelling.
The Peacock and the Sun Goddess BodyStory was conceived and presented as a live performance. As the concept seems well designed for video I took the fotos and video we’d made as documentation and created this video in iMovie. (The wonderful music is Indian Fever by David Starfire, which I found on the album “Six Degrees Free Indian Music Sampler” on Amazon. The model was a non-professional, so I’ll withhold her name) The next step in the video experiment will be to create a BodyStory design specifically for video, and explore what is possible without the design limitations inherent in a live performance.
See the BodyStories Page to learn more about other BodyStory projects, including “Is This the First Story?” based on an 18,000 year old cave painting.
To be clear, nothing in art is ever truly new—especially in an art form as ancient as bodypainting. In saying that these experiments feel “new for me” I’m not saying that I’ve invented something here. Aboriginal Australian bodypainting may go back 40,000 years in a continuous line and in some cases, particularly in the context of ritual initiations, their bodyart tells complex mythological tales (to name just one precedent). Nothing is new.
To learn more about our programs and performances: http://www.agostinoarts.com
- Bodies Alive! — painted body performance at FABAIC 2008
- Zebras — Body Painting at FABAIC 2012 with Kryolan Aquacolors
- Van Gogh Starry Night — Body Painting at FABAIC 2012 with Kryolan Aquacolors
- Saraswati — Body Painting at FABAIC 2012 with Kryolan Aquacolors
- Gator Eating Jose: UV Body Painting at FABAIC 2012 with Kryolan Aquacolors
- Painted Bodies: Africa – Video of Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher (thestorybehindthefaces.com)