Roy Lichtenstein/Edinburgh College Dance Collaboration




After visiting the modern art gallery and viewing Roy Lichtenstein’s work, I was drawn to one particular set of paintings almost immediately. His Water Lily collection, inspired by Monet’s famous works. I decided this was going to be the basis of my work.

I was drawn to them for many reasons; the colour pallet and composition as a whole is much softer than some of his other work. I also really liked the use of the mirrored panels, which I felt gave the pieces a feel of fluidity (something I felt was important as my dancer is interested in mostly ballet and contemporary) but I also enjoyed the almost skewed familiarly of the work.

I started by looking at the main focus of the pieces, the water lily. The water lily has a strong position thought history as well as a whole number of cultures, and although interpreted in different ways, the underlying meaning behind the water lily is the idea of rebirth. This comes from the fact that each night the flower closes up to a bud and drops below the water only to re-emerge each day as if it were a new budding flower. I loved this idea so decided to move my focus towards this.

After researching the idea of rebirth and its symbolism, I moved my focus to butterflies, one of the only creatures in the world to be reborn into something new. I looked at the different species that live in the region of France that Monet’s gardens belong to. I liked the idea of this connection to the original paintings.

I studied the wings and took inspiration from a wing under a microscope and experimented with this through textiles. I also looked at simplifying the intricate patterns in the wings, just as Lichtenstein did with Monet’s work.