"Storyteller is poised mid-sentence, her face suffused with the emotion of her tale. From the top of her head dance eighteen figures, each embodying one chapter of an epic story - both personal and universal."
                                       ~ Anne Telford
                               Ceramics Monthly, February 1996
Choose from these thumbnails to see enlarged views.
Lorraine Capparell's Storyteller (Front)


Lorraine Capparell's Storyteller (Back)


Lorraine Capparell's Red Figure 1


Lorraine Capparell's Yellow Figure 1


Lorraine Capparell's Blue Figure 1


Lorraine Capparell's Brown, Yellow, Red Figures


Lorraine Capparell's Blue Kneeling


Lorraine Capparell's Brown Figure


Lorraine Capparell's Red Figure


Storyteller is a portrait of actress-performer Rhodessa Jones. She and I have been friends since 1969 and have collaborated many times both on the stage and off. (Rhodessa posed for Yin in Five Women.)

After painting nine 4'x 8' fabric panel backdrops for Jones' performance work, The Blue Stories: Black Erotica On Letting Go, I was inspired to make a sculpture of Rhodessa with colorful figures arising from the head - a mother, father, grandmother and the "trickster" - all people from Jones' personal history, a recurring subject in her performance works.
I started with sketches from performance photos I had taken. I hand built a portrait bust of Rhodessa in clay, working from life and from photos. After firing it, I airbrushed the ceramic piece with colors that pick up hues used in the borders of The Blue Stories panels and reflect African influences. The polka dot leopard pattern on the chest, for instance, refers to the leopard skin clothing traditionally worn by African chiefs and shamans. I embellished the figures with beads, copper wire, seed beads, an anklet.

Storyteller has a long life. Rhodessa continues to use a black and white photo of it on her business cards and as the logo for The Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women.
(See  Not Your Mother's Theater: Rhodessa Jones and the Medea Project: Open Space.)
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