Recently I watched a documentary titled Bobbi Jene Smith and I found it very enlightening and inspiring. I was taken back by the vision and bravery of Bobbi Jene. the documentary is about her life; a contemporary dancer living in Tel Aviv and working for the Bartsheva dance company. I really admired how she decided to take a risk in leaving the dance company in Tel Aviv to move to San Francisco and follow her voice to hear it louder! Once in San Francisco she concentrated in building her solo ‘A study on effort’ an hours long on the effort of pushing, lifting and the ‘effort of pleasure’. I couldn’t quite believe that I was watching her orgasm while straddling a heavy sandbag. Her instruction to herself according to a Dance magazine article ” find pleasure in what weighs you down” her solo piece is mostly done in the nude as she had a desire for honesty, for cutting through surfaces; “this is a body, a female body, making shapes, I will shake, it will start to sweat”.
What I really enjoyed was how she believed in her craft and followed her vision through even though some people (including family) didn’t understand her art.
I came away admiring her strength and conviction. I enjoyed seeing how she would study and research movement by spending hours moving big bags with gravel. I came away inspired by movement, everyday movements that we take for granted. Bobbi Jene’s dance is a study of everyday movement and I felt inspired by her constant research. It made me realise that I can take inspiration in many crafts and art. Dance is another medium which I can take inspiration for my textiles. I have been sketching everyday so to improve in my drawing skills. I did a couple of drawings of Bobbi Jene while watching the film. The one above I shared on Instagram and I got a comment saying thank you from Bobbi Jene and it was used as her instagram profile picture for a few days I was so excited! Below is the second drawing.
Bobbi Jene said ” my dream is to create a company of artist that I love and I am inspired by” “a company where we can create performances that can live on in many different mediums” and that’s exactly what I am trying to do; take inspiration from all kinds of mediums.
I want to be more like Bobbi and try and look deeper into what I am seeing. As boring as joining straight edges can be I need to look and take further what I see on the surface, maybe not take for granted the ‘simple’ ‘easy’ ‘seen before’ ‘done before’ tasks and just study them in more depth so that then I have all the research and knowledge to hear my own voice louder! I need to remember that Bobbi stayed true to what was happening to her body first rather than what was happening to her mind first. Equally I strive to be true to what a feel rather than what I think. when it comes to my craft, I should remember that I am an empath who adsorbs the energy around me and if I surround myself with interesting artist and practitioners in all types of media it can feed and reflect in my art.
References Dance Magazine, Bobbi Jene Smith documentary.