Lyn Shakespeare

Actress, singer, and comedian, Lyn Shakespeare is A One Woman Show! Entertaining, enthusiastic, and full of good vibrations, it’s impossible not to enjoy her company. And when Lyn told me she’d done stand-up comedy in Australia for several years, I was impressed. Because anyone who can make you laugh is magical. And powerful!

micky huipil b

Laughter is good for your health, both mental and physical. Laughter helps release endorphins that transform a bad mood into a good one. Laughter also decreases stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity, and decreases pain. A comedian is almost like a doctor!

Lyn ShakespeareLyn Shakespeare

But whereas laughing can loosen you up, trying to make others laugh can make you tightt. Because making people laugh is not always easy. Which is why Lyn is so amazing.

Petite and impish, Lyn reminds me of a young Judy Garland making me even more curious about her as a comedian. So I bombarded her with questions:

Lyn Shakespeare

Q: When you did stand-up, what were your jokes based on? Did you make fun of yourself  or, like Joan Rivers, make fun of others? How did you come up with your material?

Lyn: I wrote a routine about growing up with the name Shakespeare. And over the years, this became a big part of my routine. I would steal jokes and rewrite them to make them mine.  A lot of my humour definitely belongs in the “gay” arena, which is where I have had my most successful and happiest of gigs. And where I can be totally outrageous .

Lyn Shakespeare

I don’t like cruel comedy e.g. Joan Rivers, although she is as cruel about herself as she is on the public! I do remember a few times in the past “outing” people and thinking later on that I could have done better !!  And not have been sooooooo mean !! ( although they probably deserved it !! )

Observation of life is a great way to come up with comedy.  People that you meet along the way, who definitely need to be sent up !!!

Lyn Shakespeare

 Q: What was the most difficult thing about doing stand-up?

Lyn:   After performing much cabaret and always with piano player,  I realized that stand-up is a lonely beast!!  Although when it was a brilliant night and you and the audience were “one”, it was the best  of nights.  I remember one of my first gigs was when I was dressed as Jessica Rabbit ( god knows why !! ) and it was just the worst gig and as I walked off stage, my microphone was still on and I said to the stage manager “The audience hates me !! “ and then I heard the audience roar with laughter.  They had all heard my comment. Accidental humour !!

Lyn Shakespeare

Q:  Give a brief description of going to the Oscars.

Lyn: My dear friend Mr Cha Cha, who had choreographed the films Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, and many others, had been asked to choreograph for the Oscars, 2 numbers from the film Enchanted which he had choreographed as well. There were 2 tickets. I told him I was coming with him!!! The journey takes us to L.A., Getting ready for the Oscars, Walking the Red carpet, Watching The Oscars, the Governor’s Ball.  The mayhem,  the madness, the glamour, the scary faces, the amazing night of nights!

Lyn Shakespeare

Q : Why do you like wearing Muy Marcottage?

Lyn: The easiest of all questions. I love them. They are so theatrical. They are all individual pieces. They  are born from recycled fabrics. They are so much fun. They are created with LOVE.

Lyn Shakespeare

The  photos of Lyn wearing Muy Marcottage dresses were taken on Paros by the photographer Chiara Pilar.

Lyn Shakespeare

 

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©

Mick Jagger’s Throat Chakra

Mick Jagger Muy Marcottage Dress

Mick Jagger Muy Marcottage dress… “Jerry Hall & I”… Jerry Hall and I have 3 things in common: we’re from Texas, we like Mick, we have a  fondness forWendy Cope poetry.

One cold February night, I became a Born Again Rolling Stones Fan. Alone in my studio and needing some animation,  I put on the Stone’s 40 LICKS TOUR DVDIt wasn’t the first time I’d heard it but, for some still unknown reason, that night listening to the Stones was like a mystical experience. Well, maybe mystical isn’t exactly the right word but I do remembering thinking as I watched them: Hey man, just how old are these dudes?  And that was the beginning of  The Quest–an intense desire to know how, after all the years of A Heavy Duty Rock’n Roll Life Style, they were still alive, healthy and playing with so much Energy.

We often talk about energy but what is it anyway? After much research via internet and Amazon, I’ve come to the conclusion that energy is simply whatever it takes to make you move.

The absence of energy is a result of blockage. If you’re blocked, you simply don’t move.  But the progress regarding these studies will be posted in the future.  For now, I would like to briefly focus on Mick Jagger and his throat chakra.

Chakras are centers of energy, located on the midline of the body. There are seven of them, and they govern our psychological properties. The chakras located on the lower part of our body are our instinctual side, the highest ones our mental side.

One of the seven chakras is that of the throat also known as the Vishuddha chakra. Obviously, it is related to the concept of communication and self-expression.  So what does this have to do with Mick Jagger?  Well, during My Quest, I came across two different versions of Mick Jagger singing “No Expectations” and found the Older Mick sounding so much better than the Younger Mick. The difference was such that I wondered what had happened in the meantime. After more research and reflection, I came to the conclusion that the change was a result of Mick opening up his throat chakra.

mick jagger detail

More research led me to an article re: otolaryngologist , Dr. Brian Hands, who has won worldwide recognition for having helped many singers regain control over their voice. Dr. Hands says that 85% of the time when singers come to him for help, the main problem is that of personal anxiety.  And anxiety affects the voice.  Dr.Hands thus, to work on the voice, works on the throat chakra. Because anxiety impairs and blocks expression.

To see what I mean about Mick’s voice change, listen to his version of “No Expectations” in 1973 then listen to his version of No Expectations” in 2003.

mick jagger detail

Many energy healers, to heal the throat chakra, suggest wearing necklaces with approriate gems (generally blue in color) meant to heal. For example: turquoise, lapis and aquamarine.

Expectations Muy Marcottage Dress

Muy Marcottage dress “Expectations” inspired by Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations” worn by the artist Carine Lègeret

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©
this information was originally published here: Mick Jagger’s Throat Chakra

The Quiddity Dress

Quiddity Muy Marcottage Dress

All of the dresses I make have a name. Because they are not anonymous. Because instead of looking at a dress as a thing, I try to create a relationship with it. The name of my latest Muy Marcottage dress is “Quiddity”.

Quiddity, in philosophy, is the whatness of an object, its inherent nature or essence. Otherwise, quiddity refers to a distinct feature or a quirk, an idiosyncrasy.

A dress is a category but my dresses are specifics. They help to define me. They are an extension of my personal quiddity because I interrelate with myself when I chose the clothes I wear.

The body and its clothing live in symbiosis.  At least temporarily.  There is an intimacy we have with our clothes that we have with nothing or no one else. Because our clothes cling to us and touch our skin.  They are there omnipresent and participate in our every move. Our clothes know our secrets. Our clothes are well aware of our quiddity.

The dress “Quiddity” represents, in terms of Muy Marcottage, a union between past and present. The top half was made during my early experimental attempts at remaking secondhand clothes. I was dissecting all the old clothes I could find and sewing parts together almost as if I were making a collage.  Not happy with the results, I cut the top off from whatever it was attached to at the time and abandoned it.  Then this summer my friend Lyn and I began meeting regularly, initially, to paint together.  But somehow we drifted towards clothes.  Lyn had given me a dress made from a stretchy ethnic looking fabric and, anxious to play, I got out my chopped up fabric stash and came across the abandoned top. It was in no way similar in style to Lyn’s dress but I sewed the two different realities together and then cried Eureka!

Incongruency sometimes is just an attitude or lack of imagination.

 

 

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©

My Greek Retablos

There was this big white space above the stairs leading to the bedroom that used to stare at me.  I couldn’t stand the glare so I decided to stare back by creating a home gallery and had three rows of picture shelves put on it. To enclose the area, I painted it orange.  When it’s finished, I’ll call my little gallery Ikastikos (εικαστικός) which in Greek means “representative” thus a word often related to the visual arts.

Obviously, the shelves need something special so I decided to make Greek retablos.  That is, drawings that express an appreciation and expressed in Greek since we’re on Paros.  Of course, I needed the help of my Greek teacher, Katerina.

Retablos are small ex-voto paintings (generally painted on tin) made as an offering of gratitude for an answered prayer. It’s all about the  Aesthetics of Appreciaton: If you’re lucky and don’t know it, it’s like not being lucky at all. So to keep luck alive, it must be recognized. And retablos are a means of offering thanks for this luck.

cardboard retablo breeze

Having many things to be grateful for, several years ago I made a series of cardboard retablos. They were so joyful to make. Because expressing gratitude is good for your health.  It makes you more optimistic, keeps you from always rocketing around only yourself, and, if you think about what you have to be thankful for when you go to bed, helps you sleep better.  In other words, gratitude detoxes and fortifies the spirit.

 So, for my Greek retablos, I made a list of 15 things in my life worth appreciating.  One of those was about a dress. More than a dress, it’s a long huipil and so very special because it was one of three El Suavecito brought me from Mexico. On the front of the huipil are two big embroidered birds.  They are quite lovely and not something you would normally see on Paros. So often people stare at me when I wear it. Obviously I am happy to have this magical dress but the real gratitude is directed towards El Sauvecito who loved me enough to give me something he knew would give me much pleasure. Everytime I wear the huipil, I think about him.

pajaros y palomas

Sergio's dress

ευχαριστω για τη μεζικανικη φορεμα γιος μου μου εδωσε στι ο γυναικες κοιταζουν

Sergio's dress

All the Greek retablo drawings are mounted on discarded cardboard.  The frames are made from junk paper rolled into rounds glued together thus ecological as well. Because in my heart there’s constant gratitude for nature that keeps us all alive.

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©

Related: Frida Kahlo and Retablos

This post is dedicated to  El Suavecito with love and tenderness.

Balcony Sewing

Balcony Sewing

Here is where I sew in the afternoon, on a balcony facing east so there’s no more need to be fearful of the sun’s aggressiveness. Because the sun is going west to paint the sky.

Sewing is an aesthetic experience. Not only does sewing please who’s sewing but it is also pleases the eye of those watching someone sew.  Otherwise, why would so many artists have used women sewing as a theme for their paintings?

Mary Cassatt Mother Sewing

Young Mother Sewing by Mary Cassatt #motherssew

 

Woman Sewing by Renoir

Woman Sewing by Pierre Auguste Renoir #seamstressvoyeur

 

William Kay Blacklock - Sewing by the River

Sewing by the River by William Kay Blacklock #sewinginpublic

 

Borrani Odoardo_Le cucitrici di camicie rosse

Le Cucitrici di Camicie Rosse (1863) by Odoardo Borrani #sewingcircle

 

Lionello Balestrieri Tutt'Art@

Signora che cuce in giardino by Lionello Balestrieri #sewinginthegarden

 

Van Gogh, Woman Sewing

Woman Sewing by Vincent Van Gogh

 

edgar degas, woman embroidering

Woman Embroidering by Edgar Degas #sewingalone

 

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©

 

Related: Art of Sewing Board on Pinterest

 

 

 

Louise Bourgeois and the Venus of Lespugue

While sewing the other afternoon on my “My Name is Venus” huipil, I listened to a Marija Giambutas video to keep me in the Mother Goddess mood. Giambutas mentioned that the Venus of Lespugue, c. 25,000 year old steatopygian figurine from France, was one of her favorite Venus statues. I stopped stitching to closely look at the figurine because it reminded me so much of Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures.

 Born in France in 1911, Louise came from a family of tapestry restorers. She, too, worked with the family and learned The Aesthetics of Mending. She also learned how to sew. But her childhood was scarred by her father’s infidelities and the illness, both physical and psychological, it caused for her mother.

Our childhood follows us wherever we go and, during the last 50 years of her life, Louise externalized this childhood more and more. Because it was here she found magic, mystery, and drama.

As a young girl, she would draw the missing parts of damaged tapestry that needed to be rewoven. Louise said that spiders, too, repair.  If you try to destroy a spider’s web, the spider will weave and repair it. So even her metal spider sculptures reflected her childhood and the art of mending.

louise bourgeois spider

Standing outside of the Tate Modern at one point, Louise Bourgeois’ extraordinary sculpture, Maman (Mother), is a 30-foot-tall spider crafted of bronze, marble, and stainless steel.

 

“When I was growing up, all the women in my house were using needles. I’ve always had a fascination with the needle, the magic power of the needle. The needle is used to repair damage. It’s a claim to forgiveness. It is never aggressive, it’s not a pin.” Louise Bourgeois

When in her 80s, Louise decluttered her closet and used old clothes to make her fabric book “Ode à la bièvre”. She said “You can retell your life and remember your life by the shape, weight, colour and smell of those clothes in your close.”  In other words, clothes are part of our identity.

Foto of Louise by Duane Michaels, 2007 and foto of , Diane of Ephesus

 

Louise also used her old clothes for her “Cell” series as well as for her breast  outfits  obviously inspired by Diana of Ephesus figurines.  These outfits in turn inspired fashion designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Hussein Chalayan, and Simone Rocha.

louise and rei

Louise Bourgeois and Rei Kawakubo duet

Louise called her  1960s and 1970s sculptures “bodyscapes” because : “The sculptures were a second skin that I wanted to model. Clothes are as much about what  you want  to hide of the body as what you want to expose. This is a form of communication. Body language is very important to me and it is true that there is beauty in distortion.”

 

The Venus of Lespugue and Louise Bourgeois’ Nature Study (2004)

The more I look at Louise’s fabric sculptures, the more I’m convinced that she was in some way inspired by Venus figurines. Such as that of Lespugue which has found a home at the Musee di l’Homme in Paris, dates the Gravettian period and was carved from mammouth ivory. It was discovered in the Rideaux cave of Lespugue (Pyrenees) in 1922, just 11 years after Louise was born.  As with Louise’s sculptures, the female sexual characteristics such as hips and breast are exaggerated.

I had a space on my My Name is Venus huipil  (99 Art Project) and knew it was meant for the Lespugue figurine.

Venus of Lespugue sketch in sketchbook and on huipil

Venus of Lespugue work in progress front and back

 

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©