|Milner hosts performance costume exhibit|
|Written by Douglas Bridges-O’Connor, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 23 January 2012 14:17|
Visitors to Special Collections on the sixth floor of Milner Library will not only see artwork by performance costume designer Svetlana Golovko, but also see the historical importance of the circus at ISU.
Milner Library began hosting the exhibit, “The Art of Whimsy, Costume Design by Svetlana Golovko,” in early December and will continue to run through March 31.
“Students who study circus or performing arts, visual arts, theatrical skills or just like costumes would find my work interesting. Even fashion designers, who I am working with these days, love my old circus sketches,” Golovko said.
Golovko’s featured work includes over a dozen prints of her costume designs, each with their own colorful examples of the human figure engaged in lighter than air movements, often achieved by aerial performers.
“In her figure studies, she breaks them down into geometric shapes in sort of a cubist technique. Also, she works in acrylics and sometimes charcoal and other media, but they’re all very colorful and very well structured,” Steve Gossard, Milner Library curator for the Circus and Allied Arts Collections, said.
“I think her work is sort of cubist in the way she deals with the human figure, but it’s also very expressive. Her familiarity with the anatomy and posture of figures in motion make her paintings seem lighter than air,” Gossard added.
A native of Moscow, Golovko came to the United States with her twin brother’s trapeze act, the Flying Cranes, where she devoted her talents to developing clothes that enhance the illusion of flight with original, unique dyes never before used in aerial performance costumes.
Golovko now resides in New York City working as a digital artist on Fashion Avenue, where she designs graphics and fabrics for fashion companies.
“Svetlana was my main contact with her brother and we wrote to each other through email and other correspondence. She told me she came over with the [Flying Cranes] act, but she was a costume designer. Just out of the blue, she sent me a huge packet of prints of her work. I thought for a long time that they were really beautiful and I was like, ‘What can I do with these?’” Gossard said.
Gossard added he would like to have a series of small exhibits like Golovko’s because of the number of circus professionals who do artwork themselves.
“There are a lot of people that are very expressive in one way and also very artistic in other ways. A lot of performing artists will do some painting, sculpture any number of art forms,” Gossard said.
According to Gossard, circus performance has been a central part of ISU history for over 100 years.
“Bloomington, from around 1870 to World War II, was a main training center for trapeze in America. They had an annual circus at the YMCA and used it as a training facility through the winter while they weren’t on the road,” Gossard said.
Over the years, Special Collections has assembled a large collection of posters, prints and props dating back to the glory days of the Bloomington circus industry.