One of the main threads running through the last project (Journey Around My Room) revealed itself as a form of mapping and plotting. There was a point where I became interested in documenting/illustrating movement and the normally unseen traces left by these movements. The drawing below shows the stages of movement, using rubbing techniques, of a post-it note (one of my chosen objects) being screwed up. These moments now fixed in time were then plotted, producing some interesting geometric shapes. Another drawing depicting movement, plotting and mapping was produced on graph paper and shows an aerial view of my space. Working in this way reminded me of a piece that I’d created a couple of months back where I attempted to visually interpret a piece of music by the electronica duo Voices From The Lake. https://soundcloud.com/prologue/prgcd001-voices-from-the-lake Here the recurrent beats and the gap between them illustrate a sense of time with subtle changes in mark-making suggestive of the many textures and layers within the track. I used graph paper as a backdrop to hint at the mathematical structures underlying the track. The use of the grid interests me because it has potential to hint at the underlying order and structures within and around us; part of the invisible unified field. McNally’s Cartographies A new Kind of ordering…
McNally’s work exhibits a carefully constructed attempt to portray essence not as substance, through the subject of a work or by the introduction of archetypes, but rather as the result of a process of reciprocal determination, where individual lines, markings, and trajectories are brought to significance through their interrelations with those around them. https://www.flickr.com/people/emmamcnally/
I stumbled across the artist Emma McNally whilst browsing through the book Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art (Sawdon & Marshall). The works carefully constructed yet intuitive qualities appealed to me. They are produced predominantly with graphite and pencil and although there is a rejection of representational figuration, the chaos, flux and movement are all balanced with the geometric. There is a reality within the abstraction.
The dots, lines, crosses and dashes contained in McNally’s abstract vocabulary are suggestive of musical scores, computer data, maps and constellations creating a matrix of humming activity where chaos is organized by rhythms and connections. https://www.flickr.com/people/emmamcnally/
Comparisons can also be drawn between McNally’s work and that of Sol Le Witt’s…
A visit to the Jerwood Drawing Prize in London threw up some nice surprises. The biggest one being that the winner was a piece that didn’t exist visually. To ‘see’ the piece one had to listen carefully and imagine (yes, imagine!). Controversial? I didn’t think so. In fact, it made me recall the descriptive drawings that I used to do with my pupils, where I would get one pupil to describe to another pupil (drawer) an object in depth without explicitly naming the individual component parts. Of course the drawer was not allowed to see the object (or photograph of object) in question. Great for literacy and imagination, and the results were always exciting!
Gary Edwards – There are no owls #1, 2014 http://jerwoodvisualarts.org/3084/+/870
But it was more than that. It was the process and the physical qualities that appealed to me, the fact that it was reminiscent of the traditional etching that I so loved a long time ago – The free mark-making, the scratches in the surface, the gestural movements, the violence and agitation. Also it did bring to mind some kind of scarred landscape created over time, presenting history and beauty. Once again this is made predominantly with graphite. I immediately wanted to get going on my own. Extract taken from exhibition catalogue:
To some extent the composition is arbitrary. What concerns me is the patina, building up layers of graphite, working and reworking, adding and taking away, creating histories of mark making. (Edwards: 2014: 30)