Tsuchigumo (Kabuki Series)

Elliott, Reiko
Circa 1990-Circa 1996
See full details

Object Detail

Artist Reiko Elliot (nee. Hayakawa) was born and raised in Japan during the Second World War. She studied fine arts and theatre in Tokyo. Elliott had short stints as a journalist, DJ and a minor film star. By the early 1970’s, she had taken up a full-time career as an entertainer. Performing vocals in the chanson style, Elliot toured Japan, Taiwan and Spain, performing popular songs in both French and English. She then met New Zealander Robert Elliot and after a whirlwind romance retired from her career as an entertainer and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand.

In the late 1970s, Elliot returned to her first love, print making. She etched her own printing plates with acid, hand-engraved the plate and then printed the final product in her studio using a printing press. The final works were limited editions, each individually hand finished.

This series of prints calls back to Elliott’s earlier career as a theatre performer. Tsuchigumo is a creature in Japanese folklore, it is a giant, monstrous spider. Tsuchigumo also gives its name to an eponymous Noh play, adapted into a Kabuki ‘dance-drama’ in 1881. Kabuki is a traditional Japanese theatre form that originated in the 17th century Edo period. Kabuki plays are largely about historical events and moral conflicts. Elliot’s prints capture Keshÿ, the makeup used in Kabuki to heighten the visual style of the form.

Reiko Elliot’s artworks have been exhibited various times in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. The incredible true story of her life is documented in a two-part memoir Don’t Come Back (2003). Elliot lost her life to leukaemia in May 2000.
Screen print, A.P (artist's prrof)
image: hxw; 245 x 165mm
Frame: hxwxd; 725 x 515 x 35mm
Breadth 20mm
Registration number




Copyright Disclaimer

Wellington City Council has permission from the copyright owners to use the images. You may not make copies, reproduce, sell or distribute these images. Apply to the copyright holder directly for permission.


Be the first to comment.