Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2022 – “Covid Carmen” by Juliana Areias & Geoffrey Drake-Brockman.
Born in Portugal, Carmen Miranda (1909-1955) moved to Rio de Janeiro at the age of one and went on to become one of Brazil’s most iconic cultural exports – a globally renowned Samba singer and Hollywood star. A hat designer herself, she adopted elaborate fruit hats as her instantly-recognisable trademark. Her vibrant, generous and colourful personality helped to popularise Brazil as a friendly, festive and culturally rich country worldwide.
One wonders what elements Carmen might put into her hat in 2022, after the Covid Pandemic,… Sadly, many have perished and suffered worldwide due to Covid, and Brazil has been one of the worst affected countries – with around ten percent of the world’s official Covid death-toll. In Australia, due to management of borders, isolation measures, vaccination programs and clear government messaging, Covid deaths per million have been kept relatively low. Australia is a rich island nation and its experience cannot fully translate elsewhere, however the comparison with Brazil could not be more stark. Brazil, under its current President, did not implement a strong Covid response at Federal level, with a resultant huge cost in human lives and a pandemic death-rate amongst the highest in the world.
Our 2022 Covid Carmen tableau vivant pays respect to all lives lost. You will always be remembered.
NED KELLY AND MARIA BONITA
Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2021 – “Ned Kelly & Maria Bonita” by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman & Juliana Areia.
Ned Kelly and Maria Bonita are the iconic outlaw hero and heroine of Australia and Brazil respectively. Both Ned and Maria are part of the “Robin Hood” mythologies of their
nations – rebellious characters who stole from the wealthy while
returning to the poor. Both were ultimately captured and put to death
for their crimes. Since then, their reputations have grown to become
cultural icons, their legends meshed into the fabric of national identity.
Ned Kelly was the most notorious of the great bushrangers. After
shooting dead three policemen who were hunting him, Kelly eluded police
for two years, with the support of an extensive network of sympathisers.
Famously, he wore a suit of bulletproof armour during his final battle
with police in 1880. He died at the gallows at the age of 25 – asked if
he had any last words, he responded simply; “such is life”.
In 1930, 29-year-old Maria Bonita dared to leave her husband to become
the partner of Lampiao – Brazil’s Ned Kelly – being the first woman to
join his gang. She was not afraid of being unconventional and was
determined to live out her wildest dreams. Lampiao and Maria Bonita
defied the police together for eight years, leading a gang of 100
people, until both were captured and killed in 1938.
In this Tableau Vivant, Ned’s pistols have been substituted with the
artistic tools used the create the backdrop to the scene – a
battery-drill and a spray gun. Maria’s ammunition belts are filled not
with bullets but with the crayons used to detail the set. The background
to the Tableau is inspired by the 1945 painting “Kelly in the Bush” by
MARIA – METROPOLIS
Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2020 – “Maria – Metropolis” by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman & Juliana Areias – after Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film masterpiece “Metropolis” – written by Thea von Harbou and starring Brigitte Helm. The film’s story revolves around a woman named Maria, leader of the workers in the underground city, who is captured by the scientist Rotwang in order to unleash an evil robot that he transforms into her image. Metropolis was not well received on its initial release, and was subsequently almost lost in its original form due to heavy editing and censorship, only being fully restored to its premiere cut in 2010. Metropolis is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.
Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2019 – “Frida Kahlo” by Juliana Areias & Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, after Frida Kahlo’s “Broken Column” painting from 1944. Frida was a Mexican surrealist artist famed for the unflinching honesty of her autobiographical self-portraits. Her work depicts a woman’s perspective on her own body, personal suffering, femininity and national identity. Location: The Pinacles, Western Australia, – a landscape of extraordinary formations of uknown origin.
JOAN OF ARC
Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2018 – “Joan of Arc” by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman & Juliana Areias – Jeanne d’Arc, (Joan of Arc) was burned at the stake in 1431 for the heresy of talking directly with God and dressing and fighting as a man. Jeanne was one of thousands of people (mainly women) burned as witches in medieval times.
Tableau Vivant for Halloween 2017 – “Frankenstein” by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman & Juliana Areias
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley was first published in 1818. In the novel the scientist Victor Frankenstein gives life to a male creature, who resents his loneliness and demands that a female creature also be made. Frankenstein is considered by some as the first true science fiction story.
THE MAGRITTE LEAP
Tableau Vivant 2013 – “The Magritte Leap” by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman.
“The Magritte Leap”, after Rene Magritte’s iconic surrealist painting “Golconda”. Location: Blackwall Reach, Perth, Western Australia.