These are all made by my sister, it’s really inspiring to have such a talented yet modest artist in the family. She’s got a ceramics studio in New York and has made so much beautiful work recently it’s unbelievable how prolific she is!

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This is her wonderfully serene website:

She’s also done a line of really powerful jewellery called MOMOTOBO that celebrates that natural world in all it’s profound beauty. I have a string of prayer beads she made and recently sent me, my most treasured item!


Princess Raccoon

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A theatrical and stylised film by Seijun Suzuki. The sets resemble those in Kabuki, with consciously artificial looking sets and props. Some of the sets (shown in this boat scene) are superimposed traditional paintings, like Kawamoto’s animations!

Kihachiro Kawamoto’s  Dojoji


I’ve been busy researching and writing my essay on Kabuki theatre in relation to Shakespeare. I’ve also done a lot of drawings and designs that I want to share. The drawings in this post are from the Frederic Aranda photography exhibition in March that inspired me to look at Kabuki for this brief.

Kabuki actors apply their own make-up, the drawing above is of Ichikawa Kamejiro, a famous onnagata (female role specialist) as he paints a red wax on his eyebrows, to smooth the hair, before painting them black.


When we had our drawing trip to the British Museum last term I discovered Haniwa Japan’s ancient funereal art form. They were made from terracotta and buried with the dead. I’m looking at them again because I think they will be really helpful in the design of my puppet heads. Although Kabuki is the springboard for my ideas I want the aesthetic to be more rustic, not so ornate and elaborate, and even a bit shamanistic.


I’m going to see this tomorrow: A short exhibition at the Hospital club, backstage photographs of Kabuki actors by Frederich Aranda. In support of the Fukushima disaster one year ago.