September 21, 2013

The Harlequinade Series II: "Columbine Unresponsive"

Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, The Harlequinade Series II: "Columbine Unresponsive", harlequin, columbine, harlequinade, british theatre, colombina, catatonia, watercolour, watercolor, painting, malaysian artist, state of mind, mental state
"Columbine Unresponsive"
After the production of "Weeping Harlequin", the idea of painting Harlequinade characters in mental states contrary to their usual characters was conceived. 

Columbine (Colombina in Italian, "little dove"; and Colombine in French) is probably the only functioning intellect in the Harlequinade. She is a typical soubrette. A soubrette is a female stock character (a character based on common literary or social stereotypes) which is often vain and girlish, mischievous, even lighthearted and coy.  

In the painting, Columbine has entered a state of unresponsiveness, with her back to us, and face somewhat downcast. 

Is it because of Harlequin? 
Or does Harlequin weep because she does not respond to him? 

We can only guess. If "Weeping Harlequin" reflects grief and depression, then "Columbine Unresponsive" is catatonia - a state of unresponsiveness to external stimuli despite being awake.

The bright colours used provide contrast between Columbine's typical lighthearted nature and the subject of the painting. The painting process was all about layering and creating stark lines to create mild dissonance. I drew some inspiration from Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch, who is a genius at layering and texturing. 

Read more soon for the story behind Part 3: Pierrot Knows.

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