About the Pilates Mat Series Drawing Project:
Before I became a Pilates teacher, I was a visual artist. For a while after
teaching Pilates became the all-consuming focus in my life, I barely touched
any art materials; but after four years of total immersion in teaching and
learning, I looked up to find there was a hole in my life where making art
used to be.
Teaching Pilates can be as creative and spiritually satisfying as
drawing or sculpture-making, but when I found myself studying
those photos of Joe Pilates with a pencil in my hand, attempting to
capture the lines of his muscle engagement, his concentration and
intention, I realized I had found (one more) purpose in life. The
Pilates Mat Series Drawing Project was born.
So one by one, I am working to to produce a satisfying drawing for
each of the 34 classical Mat exercises, inspired by the photographs in
Mr. Pilates' book Return to Life (especially the beautiful edition
published by the Pilates Method Alliance). I don't know how long this
project will take, or how many versions of each image it will take,
but it gives me a lot of pleasure, and if it pleases others too, I'm
happy about that.
This is an art project driven by gratitude and love. I am paying
homage to Joseph Pilates and his genius, I am bringing something new
into the world (the humble pursuit of all visual artists), and I have
given myself a great reason to spend time studying Joe's amazing
Sarah Kotzamani (aka Sarka Zi), 2009
Update: It's been 8 years since I started this project. Though my relationship with Pilates has waxed and waned over the years as I continue exploring life and art and other body-related pursuits, I do keep on getting drawn back in through this door.
The fact is that not only do I absolutely need to be thinking and practicing and feeling Pilates to successfully attempt any of these drawings, but I get inspired to practice Pilates by looking at my own drawings!
I hope they are inspiring for you.
Sarah Kotzamani, aka Sarka Zi, 2017