Julia Fullerton-Batten, Contortionism

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November 2020

Contortionism is one of the oldest physical art forms, dating back to ancient civilization as illustrated in paintings and sculptures from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Apart from the bodily characteristics of flexibility, strength and apparent double-jointedness, a contortionist requires years of dedication to extremes of discipline and training, often beginning in childhood, to acquire the fluid artistry needed to create a serpentine dance of the human body. I invited a troupe of young contortionists to shoot a series of stills as they showed off their skill set of physicality, humorousness, sensuality and exuberance. My images of their performance arouse in us a heightened optimism and belief for a better future once we have conquered the uncertainties of our present lives.