Celebrating dance in art is streets ahead

EXHIBITION ... artist Emma Tooth is displaying Breaking Art, featuring portraits of street dancer Robby Graham, at The Customs House in South Shields. Inset, Esen Kaya.

EXHIBITION ... artist Emma Tooth is displaying Breaking Art, featuring portraits of street dancer Robby Graham, at The Customs House in South Shields. Inset, Esen Kaya.

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A PORTRAIT artist is bringing her latest exhibition to a South Tyneside art gallery.

Emma Tooth’s collection of paintings, dubbed Breaking Art, will go on display at the Customs House in South Shields, next weekend.

New art classes at The Customs House. From left artists Claudia Liefland, Essen Kaya and Elizabeth Kane.

New art classes at The Customs House. From left artists Claudia Liefland, Essen Kaya and Elizabeth Kane.

The exhibition features an unlikely union between the traditional aspects of fine art and street-dance.

Emma’s inspiration for the collection came from a performance by North East breakdance team, Bad Taste Cru.

She said: “I was blown away, it opened my mind to a whole other culture. The dancers seemed to escape the limitations of their bodies and go beyond what I imagined human beings are capable of.”

It was at this show where Emma met dancer Robby Graham, who became the model for a number of portraits in Breaking Art, which will be seen at the Mill Dam venue.

She added: “The notion that dancers need nothing but their bodies to express themselves really inspires my work.”

The exhibition comprises a series of dramatic oil paintings in a traditional style, while featuring distinctly modern subjects.

Emma’s artwork represents diversity of the human body through alternative dress, posture, surgical modification and tattooing.

Breaking Art is a free event at The Gallery at The Customs House.

It will run from Saturday to March 16, with a preview on Friday at 6pm, which will include a performance from Bad Taste Cru.

Esen Kaya, curator of visual arts at the Customs House, added: “We’re really looking forward to exhibiting Emma’s latest work.”

For more information, please visit www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki