About Pointe Blank

Collections of original images inspired by the plots of major narrative works in the repertory of Birmingham Royal Ballet, and created by professional designers in and around the UK.

Each time, the invited participants are not required to depict the story as a ballet, only to incorporate the Company name or logo. Visual references are made available, but in an attempt to keep the brief as non-prescriptive as possible, the designers are not required to include them.

The works are presented as framed A3 prints, as well as in digital form at www.pointeblank.co.uk

The first Pointe Blank collaborative project took part in 2011, with images based upon Coppélia.
The second collection, revealed on the evening of Monday 20 February 2012, was inspired by the Company’s production of Hobson’s Choice.
The third collection, revealed on 1 October 2012, was inspired by the story of Swan Lake.
The fourth collection, revealed on 24 June 2013, was based upon Giselle. This project was run in association with Illustrators Ireland, of which all participants were members.

All collections are available to view in full, via the ‘projects to date’ link at the top of the page.
Participants for the first three Pointe Blank projects were approached by independent curator Claire Hartley, who herself contributed work to the first and second collections.

For press enquiries or further information on the project, please contact:

Rob Lindsay, New Media Officer, Birmingham Royal Ballet
roblindsay [at] brb.org.uk

Notes for editors:

Pointe Blank is a series of collaborative projects originally devised by Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Contributors each time are invited to create original artwork based on the story of one of the ballet company’s productions.
Artists are not required to present the stories as ballets.
The artists do not see each other’s work until the pieces are revealed as a full collection.

Q&A:

What brief were the contributors to the most recent Pointe Blank project given?

As with all Pointe Blank collections, the brief is simply to create a piece inspired by the plot of a particular piece in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s repertory. However, we don’t require that people make reference to our production of the story, and it’s up to the individual as to whether or not they present it as a ballet at all. All we ask is that people include Birmingham Royal Ballet’s name or logo, as well as the nae of the ballet itself. In this instance, that’s Giselle.

How were the participants for this latest Pointe Blank project selected?

This, the fourth Pointe Blank project, has come about as a way of marking Birmingham Royal Ballet’s summer performances of Giselle in Belfast and Dublin. As such we wanted to approach Irish, and Ireland-based, artists.

The Illustrators Ireland group came up very early on, as we’ve always shortlisted based upon people’s online portfolios and web presence. Their ‘One Word Brief‘ features also caught my eye and made me think they’d be great for Pointe Blank.

The size of the Illustrators Ireland community means that they’ve got more members than we could accommodate, and so those interested were selected at random until the places were filled.

What’s the story about this time around?

In a nutshell, it’s about a girl whose lover deceives her, and who dies as a result. Her ghost then meets a group of vengeful spirits, and she is given the opportunity to punish her lover, or to forgive him and save his life. Our production is set in the middle ages, and the ballet itself dates back to the 1840s.

How do you think the brief compares to previous projects?

While on paper it’s a very tragic romantic story, I feel that there’s enough ambiguity in the plot to allow the artists to go off in a host of different visual directions. And of course who doesn’t like ghosts? They can be fun, they can be terrifying, they can be beautiful. Assuming, that is, the artists choose to depict them at all.