Victorine: The Artist’s Model unravels a woman’s internal thoughts as she moves from Dublin to Paris, driven by a desire to explore and escape. Acted by Jasmin Gleeson and written by Joshua King, it is a delightful performance. This one-woman show paints a vivid portrait of Victorine, a witty, dry and inquisitive persona who captives the audience with her eloquent language and sharp observations.
The piece plays with different gazes and perceptions – those of the artist, the critic, and the male spectator. Seamlessly interwoven, these perspectives highlight the fallibility of different viewpoints of art and its processes of creation. In fifty minutes, Gleeson masterfully dissects notions of artistic representation, whilst simultaneously critiquing the critics; this is all orchestrated in a refreshingly unpretentious and comedic fashion.
By using simple and effective props, Victorine is transformed, allowing her to switch between various characters. The paintbrush and glass of wine become conduits for the diverse personas she embodies. The portrayal infuses depth through the nuanced mannerisms and vocal inflections found in each of the characters. One of Victorine‘s strongest elements is its scripting, playing with colours and moods to create an atmosphere of intrigue, and enabling the audience to visualize the world through Victorine’s own gaze, adding a subtle layer to the narrative.
Throughout the piece, Victorine has a mischievous sparkle which adds humour to a period of history that is often portrayed as a dark era. Her transformation from an ‘ordinary subject’ of art to wielding the paintbrush herself portrays a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Overall, this is a show which beckons the audience to peer beyond the canvas, igniting a passion for art without taking oneself too seriously, all while embracing a multifaceted perspective on existence.
Victorine: The Artist’s Model, Greenside @ Riddles Court (Willow Studio), until 26 Aug, 3.05pm, £8-13.50
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