Cirque du Habaleeno
A gathering of misfits under the big top

By Mike V. Derderian
 
3 to 20 July 2012

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 Mike V. Derderian has entertained a cult following of cartoon and fantasy aficionados in Amman for several years with everything from science fiction characters to satirical statements, under both his own name and the signature ‘Sardine’. Working predominantly with pen and paper, Mike develops characters and themes from his vivid imagination and brings them to life, not only in illustration but often with an entire story supporting them which ‘reflect his sensibilities as a human and individual’.

In Cirque du Habaleeno, Mike has created a troupe of misfits, a macabre collection of entertainers, each with their own reason for being part of the travelling spectacle. Original drawings as well as limited edition prints of the 10 characters including Habaleeno, Mon Mon, Mustachio, Medusa, Seraphima, and the other members of this crazy circus of the mind are showing at Jacaranda Images during July.

As Mike Says ….. WHY CLOWNS?

The first circus movie I watched was Charles Walters' 1962 Billy Rose' Jumbo that we had on a VHS tape. We still have it; it is in my parents' house collecting dust. The tape itself might be covered with dust but the fond memories it gave me are as fresh as the day my mother inserted that tape in the video player to divert me from my divine mission as a child - to drive her mad. The magic of that movie is still with me to this day.

Wait … don't just brush off my Cirque du Habaleeno as a fantasy the result of celluloid dreams.

Sometime around the early 80s my parents decided to take me and my sister to a circus that was visiting Jordan. I believe it was called The Russian Circus. It was my first time under an actual circus tent. I vividly remember how my parents, my sister and I sat at the top of the bleachers with pop corn and soft drinks in hand. We smiled, laughed and gasped in suspense at the performances that were delivered by talented individuals, who dedicated their lives to entertaining others. It was a night of pure magic under a starry Amman sky.

A second magical night that happened in the late 80s, quite possibly with another Russian Circus, although the name eludes me now. This time I found myself sitting a few centimeters away from a lion that kept eyeing me from behind the steel cage that was erected moments before the circus ring hosted a lion trainer and his beasts. Another magical night was spent under the tarpaulin tent.

Sadly at this time and age it is hard to go to a circus especially in the Middle East so I found myself one night drawing some lines on an A4 paper. The lines soon connected into a smiling clown and that is how Habaleeno and some of his friends walked into my head.

I hope you find some magic under my Cirque du Habaleeno tent.

Thank you Mom and Dad for taking me to the circus!


 

 

Previous Exhibitions

GHASSAN GHAIB WITH SCULPTURES BY AHMED AL BAHRANI - 'HANINE (NOSTALGIA) '

CHARLOTTA SPARRE - 'ABCD – A DREAM OF FOUR CITIES '

MOHAMMED AL SHAMMAREY - 'WASAT AL BALAD / DOWNTOWN'

TARIQ DAJANI - 'SAQR'

AMMAR KHAMMASH - 'FOSSILS OF TIME & LIGHT'

KARIN MAYER & AHMED AL KHALIDI - 'URBAN EXCHANGE'

BADER MAHASNEH - 'EXPOSURES'

GHADEER SAEED - 'MEMORIES OF LOVE & WAR'

SALEH ABU SHINDI - 'VOCABULARY OF LINES AND COLOUR'

MONA SAUDI - 'SONG FOR THE EQUINOX'

BADER MAHASNEH - 'SCULPTING THE WATER'

TARIQ DAJANI -  'ABOVE WADI RUM'

HAKIM JAMAIN -  '30 DAYS IN LUXOR'

ABORIGINAL ART - ANCIENT ABSTRACTIONS

3 DIMENSIONS, 3 JORDANIAN ARTISTS

SHEREEN AUDI - 'EXPRESSIONS OF A FREE SOUL'

FLOODED LONDON – FIVE IMAGES OF THE FUTURE

Contemporary Australian Indigenous Prints and Paintings

ASIL Photographs of Arabian Horses by Tariq Dajani at Zara Centre Gallery

Didgeridoo … da..da