An exhibition of dynamic sculptures by an award winning aerialist, who sculpts the air with her body to create a constellation of shapes
Gisele Edwards gained an Honours degree in Mandarin Chinese from Cambridge University and an MA in Islamic and Asian Art History from SOAS. She then worked as an Equity Analyst in the City before deciding to follow a radically different path.
She specialised in physical theatre at Central School of Speech and Drama before attending Circus Space where she trained in aerial skills and completed the LEM (Laboratoire d’Etude du Mouvement) at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
She received the Jerwood Prize for Circus in 2002 in recognition of her work. She has been shortlisted for the European Jeunes Talents Cirques competition and also won the Festival of Firsts at Linbury Studios, Royal Opera House. In 2008 she was awarded Lauréat at the Résidence au Centre International des Récollets, Paris.
Soaring high above us, Gisele Edwards’s aerial performance symbolises and embodies the spirit of the circus. In this performance, she attaches geometric shapes to her limbs, uncovering the sculptural potential and rhythmic flow of these objects in space. It is a mesmerising routine of intersecting pieces controlled by a seemingly invisible force — her own body.
These aerial sculptures echo the iconic mobiles of the American sculptor Alexander Calder. Calder’s compositions of abstract shapes would dance in the breeze, embodying the idea that art comes into being through motion.
In fact, in an appropriately timely fashion, a new exhibition is launching at the Tate Modern this November, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, which aims to reveal how motion, performance and theatricality underpinned his practice.
Watch a short interview with Gisele where she explores the ideas behind her performance and the accompanying exhibition: