‘An art of passage, about reality that has already passed by and which leaves a spread or spray of traces’ Susan Sontag, 1981 ‘An Art of Passage’
I think Susan Sontag’s words express what I would like to say about my drawings. My drawings are more about evocation than the literal representation. They are about passing of time, captured thoughts about what is happening in the world. The notion of trace extends to the form of my drawings, were lines billow and meander across the sheets, often recurring in the next drawing. By limiting myself to certain rules and codes in my mind, the lines build up to an overall rhythm, evoking emotions and I would say, sounds, as in music or noise.
I am reminded of the music of John Cage ,’Dream’; Ravi Shankar playing Sitar, writings by Murakami, ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ and the cinema films of David Lynch. The lines unravel and become my own calligraphy. Seeking to capture thought processes, occurring in space and time, the use of white spaces accentuates pauses long or short, tensions, breathing spaces or silence amid a kind of continual flow like timelines, or structures of a dance.
Each line becomes a trace of my life, the lines are like signs, and they create a form in space, just like an acrobatic leap of a dancer. My lines are metaphors for life and world events. Often the drawings are titled after a song e.g. ‘Traces of you’ Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar, or an event ‘The Death of David Bowie’ I named the drawing ‘ Lazarus’ after Bowie’s video.
I am hoping these drawings will invite participation, as in a Pollock painting because the viewer can trace the direction of the work. My work asserts the way viewer scans the lines in a quiet reflective way. I came back to these drawings after returning from an academic representational drawing symposium. I remember a speaker saying ‘a curve is made up of line’ not a gestural mark. Interesting enough my paintings are very gestural, I use the whole of my arm and body when paintings, but alongside my paintings, I have been drawing these line drawings. Large paintings are physically like going to the gym, whilst the drawings are like going to Pilates.
A dynamic turn came for me when I heard about the Chilean miners being trapped underground. It had such a profound effect on the world news that I wanted to make a drawing for each miner to convey the time they were trapped until they were rescued. As I was making these very labour intensive drawings; I imagined the miners trying to shovel their way out of the mine, no light, the fear, the noise of their breathing, Milton’s poem ‘Paradise Lost’ came into my mind; then the different emotion as each miner was saved. I named the drawings ‘Light into Darkness, ‘Darkness into Light