Kim L Pace presents a selection of book-page drawings and limited edition artist books.
The books often relate to ideas and non-linear narratives that have appeared in her sculptural installations.
Early subjects include extreme emotions that are difficult to articulate – such as how it feels to fall in love (Love Bites), or the tragic loss of young life through absurd means, such as ‘girl chokes to death on lunch’ or ‘boy killed by falling conker’ (The Book of Terrible Endings).
Other books focus on people and places – ‘High Flyer’ imagines the last fatal flight of the aviatrix Amy Johnson, whilst ‘Dead Men Don’t Ski’ is set in a ski resort where nothing is, as it first seems.
More recently, her books include more fantastical subjects, including a troupe of hair-covered, performing women and a pictorial re-telling of Hansel and Gretel, as told from the witch’s perspective.
Nicholas Pace’s drawings appear like faux old master drawings, made in white and red chalk on pink Ingres paper. These drawings are in the style of preparatory drawings for paintings.
However, although the drawings are executed in the late 18th century/ early 19th century French academic style, this is subverted by the unexpected content. The academic style of drawing is usually used to draw the human figure, i.e. culturally important or ‘significant’ subjects. By contrast, in these drawings, objects of so-called ‘low’ cultural value are purposefully selected to counter the dry academic approach. The playful subject matter includes unlikely objects that could never have appeared in an old Master drawing. Techniques from the past are brought into the current day to reflect upon what we might consider ‘appropriate’ subjects for an artist to work with.