“Drawing is everywhere. We are surrounded by it. It is sewn into the warp and weft of our lives: we practice it as one of our earliest experiences as schoolchildren, and as parents we treasure the drawings made by our off-spring like nothing else.”
Dexter, E, (2005) ‘To draw is to be human” in Vitamin D, 2005, Phaidon: London, PP6-10.
This exhibition brings together the work of five artists that use drawing as the centre of their practice; Narrative, Construction, Gesture, Mapping and Inscription could be seen as the key principles that these artists are investigating through their diverse practices.
Kate Black’s drawings illustrate an internal world depicting scenes from an invented, strange soap opera. This series of drawings reveal characters that come across the 4th Dimension, symbolized by odd geometric shapes suspended in the air, or encountered on the ground. The shapes transport the characters into uncanny and surreal worlds; they are portals into narratives that the artist likens to ‘Coronation Street’ on acid.
Andy Black’s work involves constructing imaginary spaces from an index or lexicon of motifs. He has drawings of around a hundred forms collected together in a small book. Some of these forms are objects from the landscape – trees, bushes, rocks, mountains, lakes. Others are sharp-edged and geometric or more amorphous and blobby. The artist creates diagrams of how to organize the pictures (plot, island, field, glade, parterre) forming the syntax of an open-ended series of drawings.
Tracy Himsworth’s drawings record her findings from specific journeys she has plotted. These findings include her experiences and encounters with found objects which are then processed through various drawing methods. The sketch map becomes a mental record of her movement through her immediate environment. She records this information through line, using the joints and intersections of the lines to indicate which paths she has walked.
Lucy O’Donnell’s approach To Draw is to be Human uses wonder as a poetic mode of enquiry to re-evaluate how descriptive syntactical grammars can be employed. Wonder is utilised in her drawing practice as a device to review and revise the world. The work presented in the exhibition employs wonder and seeks to question drawing by asking how gestures are observed, read and subsequently understood by varying away from traditional drawing forms and supports; marking spaces with inscriptions, sounds and her body.
Through the imminence of the hand-drawn mark, Sally Taylor‘s work aims to understand more about human relationships, specifically her own interaction with others. They are equally about forming a balance between formal concerns in relation to the communication of emotional resonance. Recent work has developed into an investigation of the dynamics of social groups – particularly how hierarchies emerge, how roles are assumed and behaviours are managed.