Barbara Vijayakumar

Country: England

Title:  Centre Ocean Stream

Medium: Cotton & silk

Size: Life-size

The World's Women On-Line!

After many years at art college developing the idea of 'living sculpture', Vijayakumar introduced the performer into her work in 1970 because of her wish to instill movement and emotion into the static images. Centre Ocean Stream is a unique visual art performance company, founded by Vijayakumar in 1977, which specializes in the use of color, shape, movement, and sound to create an experience of color. The performances are visual rather than story-telling in nature and the audience is invited to interpret what it sees individually.

Vijayakumar trained for two years at the Kerala Kalamandalam in South India where she learned the art of three-dimensional make-up (Chutti). The modern introduction of paper set into the traditional moist rice paste allows the make-up to reach up to six inches off the actors' faces, transforming them beyond recognition. With great respect for the art, Vijayakumar took only the technique of applying the make-up and now creates her own designs.

Also while in Karala, India, Vijayakumar made her lifetime link with Kathakali, a drama / dance, over 400 years old which utilizes vividly colored faces and costumes in the portrayal of characters from the Hindu Epics. Traditional costumes found in the village of Kottarakara were restored with great care, after more than 100 years of use. Carved wood covered in gold foil, silver and steel, cotton, wool, and lace-work were all used in the restoration. This is the only full set of Kathakali costumes in the West. Since costumes and sets take up to one year to make, a new performance is created approximately every two to three years.
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