Last night I watched a fascinating documentary which took singer songwriter Emeli Sande on a journey to Mexico city to find out more about the life of artist Frida Kahlo. Sande has long been fascinated with the life and work of the artist and has a tattoo of her on her arm, as a constant source of inspiration to strive for your art.
The journey allowed Emeli to meet people who had known Frida and there was one very poignant scene where she was allowed to try on one of Frida’s dresses which is now owned by a mexican costume collector. You could see that both the women were emotionally moved by the experience with Emeli saying she felt powerful wearing the dress.
Although I knew of the work of Frida Kahlo and a little of her life, I didn’t realise what a struggle she had experienced with her health from a very young age and it was clear that an accident she had at 18 years old, which left her bedridden for months, was the catalyst for her art. This is something I have read time and time again about several creative people, from Andy Warhol to the Designer Tom Dixon, who all suffered extreme illness or accident at a young age. The time they took to heal their bodies, gave them the time to think and explore their raw talents. It appears that all that time on their hands, expanded their minds?
Another interesting fact that came from the documentary was that during the time of Frida’s convalescence, her father installed a mirror on the ceiling of her bedroom so that she had something to look at and this obviously allowed her to become very familiar with her own face & characteristics. A recurring theme in her work, was her many self portraits?
For anybody interested in art, this is a very thought provoking programme, which you can watch here with Emeli Sande a very engaging presenter.