The FRIDA Series: Frida Travels to Ibiza

Heald, Karen (2017) The FRIDA Series: Frida Travels to Ibiza. In: A Suitcase of Her Own: Women and Travel, 20-23 September 2017, Szczyrk, Poland.

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Karen Heald proposes a new poetic film under the thematic scope of the conference ‘female travellers in arts, music and film.’ Throughout Heald’s practice the relationship between travel, art history, film and painting has always been present. This is especially significant in the FRIDAm Series, an ongoing collaborative project with artist Sally Turner researching the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Heald and Turner first began collaborating in 2003. Turner working in the capacity as a fine art performer and Heald as a fine art filmmaker. The title of FRIDAm was chosen as a play on the words ‘freedom’ and Frida, Kahlo’s first name. The focus was on the legacy of Kahlo, her approach to politics, women’s equality, overcoming disability and establishing herself as a painter. Exploring the concept of how Kahlo might react and respond to an evolving art scene, FRIDAm attempts to capture the essence of Kahlo’s spirit in a contemporary world. Working closely with Turner, who has a striking resemblance to Frida, Heald has enabled a relationship to unfold, a rapport to evolve that has transcribed through the films. Together they have created a visual poetry without vocabulary. To act is to pretend whereas a performance artist performs with intent. Trust and empathy is an important part of the collaboration. The artists have developed a relationship that is extremely responsive, thereby allowing the performances to be both spontaneous and experimental in nature; suggesting another space another time, further compounded by colour. FRIDAm was born out of these experiences. Filming is predetermined in the sense that locations and attire are pre-arranged but Heald and Turner allow for an intuitive response to the site. Initially conceptual the films explore feminist notions of art theory yet are also concerned with the graphics of line, colour and form. There then follows a process of critical reflection that utilises graphics in an aesthetic response, which is constantly reassessed. Varying the speed of the films by slow motion techniques emphasizes the films poetics. Working out of a suitcase the artists have travelled together nationally and internationally ‘staging’ live art performances. These ephemeral events have been portrayed through time-based media and transformed into films and installations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: female travellers
Divisions: Creative Arts
Depositing User: Mr Stewart Milne
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 16:20
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 14:59

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