The Greatest Show on Earth!

Welcome to Rainbow Hare!

Today, for one post only, I would like to introduce to you: The Greatest Show on Earth!

I will speak of no circuses, no smoke and mirrors, no conjurer’s tricks (and absolutely no animation!).

Today, I would like to share with you the Awe, the Wonder, the Amazement, the MAGIC of ‘Light in the Darkness’.

Before we go any further, I should mention that this is not The Greatest Show on Earth. This is just a little piece of Quilt Theatre and it is my tribute to The Greatest Show on Earth – and my offering for today’s Four in Art reveal. Our theme for this year is ‘Light’ and the sub-theme for this quarter is ‘Light in the darkness’. Our aim, as always, is: “…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.12.25

If you will bear with this eccentricity (for one post only), I will show this quilt as a slideshow as that seems to me to be the easiest way of displaying it (You may have to visit my actual post to see the slideshow as I don’t think it will show up in an email) and then share the inspiration behind this piece.


The photo above is meant to show how I made flaps on the quilt and folded them over to reveal the pictures but it doesn’t do that very well :(

This quilt was inspired by Black Light Theatre, which I first encountered on a trip to Prague, where I had the wonderfully good fortune of seeing the The Wow Show. The person I was with thought it looked silly and was just something for children so, for the first time in my life, I went to the theatre by myself. When I say ‘theatre’, it was a shabby old building with peeling paint that reminded me of your average village hall and, as I sat waiting for it to begin, I did wonder if it really was going to be as good as I’d hoped. Then we were plunged into the darkest of darkness and it began and all at once we were transported into another world. A parallel universe of wondrous, beautiful, bizarre and delightful scenes where any expectation was simultaneously surpassed and confounded. Where expectation itself became obsolete, being too much rooted in ordinary, mundane, everyday things.

And, unlike most ‘magic tricks’, which make us gasp in amazement but become entirely ordinary when we learn how they were done, I found knowing that the whole effect was caused by a particular way of costuming dancers and lighting the performance made the whole thing even more incredible! One day, I would love to see Aspects of Alice…Here is a clip.

I hope you have enjoyed these clips. If you have yet to experience Black Light Theatre in real life, I must tell tell you that wonderful as they are, they are the merest shadow of seeing this extraordinary art form live and, should you ever visit Prague (or anywhere else with similar performances) I would entreat you to visit and I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed :D

In the meantime, please visit the other members of Four in Art and see their interpretations of this quarter’s theme.

Bette Ayers   Camilla Cathro   Catherine Chisholm

Elizabeth Eastmond   Nancy Myers   Rachel Riley   Simone Bradford

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

15 thoughts on “The Greatest Show on Earth!

  1. Elizabeth E.

    Wowee-zowee! I loved the quilt, the presentation and even watched the WOW clip to get a feel for what you were working towards. I must say–a success! Fun to have another vision of this theme, and such an intriguing one at that! Hurrah!


  2. Betty Ayers

    What a wonderful “experience” here! Your inspiration is totally cool and I think the hot pink outer treatment is what pulls it all together. Total fun – thank you!!


  3. Carol

    Cool! I like how you transferred the Black Light Theatre concept to your art book. I have seen black light skits on TV, but never in person. I think it’s a pretty amazing art form.
    xx, Carol


  4. Kim Sharman

    The Black Light Theatre is WOW, isn’t it. It must have been such a thrill to be in that theatre experiencing those magical performances.Your little quilt is so very clever and imaginative, Janine. You always come up with the most amazing ideas.


  5. simone braford

    Your quilt was such a S U R P R I S E ! ! ! I love your source of inspiration from the black light theater and your application. Do tell, how many hours you spent dreaming up each moving flap on your quilt and how it went constructing it. Totally a fun quilt to remember for a LONG time!


  6. Pingback: SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON – Rainbow Hare

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