A Story in Three Parts



"A Story in Three Parts" was a collaborative performance between improvisational cellist Kathy McTavish and silk painter Lee Zimmerman. It took place at the PlayGround, a blackbox theater near Pizza Luce in Downtown Duluth, on January 29, 2010 at 7:30PM. During the performance, Lee created three large (8'x4') dyed silk paintings in about an hour. The performance was followed by a reception and an auction of the paintings that were just created.

The performance started a little late because it was an overflow house. The PlayGround normally seats 70. There was about 100 people in the theater. The performance was Video taped by our PBS station - two cameras watching the performance with the audience and one camera behind the scene watching Lee paint. The edited version will be broadcast on PBS in April.

Also lighthouseinternet created a live streaming video of the event that we know was watched by groups in Toronto, Seattle, the Twin Cities and Australia and others on the net. This streaming video can be replayed HERE. Be warned that the actual performance starts about 8 minutes into this video. An edited version of the performance can be seen below.

We would love to hear from you. If you have any comments or questions send them to zim2918@q.com.

Artists' Background

Lee paints on silk using liquid dyes. These dyes flow into the fibers and are visible on both sides of the fabric. When he paints for an audience, he is behind the panel of silk. He cannot be seen, but his painting can be seen. For the audience, the eight foot tall glowing white panel of silk is filled with stain glass like colors flowing from his brush. Lee has performed live silk painting as part of symphony orchestra concerts, jazz band concerts, modern dance performances, fashion shows, and in auction fundraising events. He has performed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, England, and Santa Fe. You can see an example of live silk painting HERE

The resulting paintings are dyed silk. Each of the eight foot paintings will be steamset, locking the dyes into the fiber, making the resulting painting light fast and washable. You can find out more about silk painting HERE.

Kathy creates her music using a cello and an electronic delay. She builds a song by playing a theme that is then repeated through the delay. She layers upon this theme, building and changing it until there seems to be a whole orchestra singing many intricate parts, all with rich velvety cello voices. The music is created in the moment. She has performed for audiences all over the midwest as Cello Dreams and as part of the Cosmic Pit Orchestra. You can listen to Kathy's music HERE.

Kathy and Lee have performed together once in the past. Both found the experience very rewarding. When Lee was painting for this performance, he could only see the image that he was painting - he couldn't see the audience or Kathy. But he could hear and respond to Kathy's music. As Kathy played her music, she could see the images that were being created and could change her music to respond to them. We are hoping that this project will help us enhance and develop this unique interaction.