8. The Nowhere Space

‘Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.’       (Gibson, W: 1984: 51)

The drawing is put aside for a couple of weeks. It is neglected. Though it lives and breathes without me. It hibernates to regain new energy.

 I unravel it with expectation of seeing it with fresh eyes and am surprised at how much I am drawn to the spaces; similarly by how some of the busier areas jar me.

As I lay the work down (I am now working on the floor) sunlight comes through the gap in the curtains.

P1040966Shards of light begin to play a part in the drawing.



I try to harness this; bring light into the darkness…


Deconstruction of the body

I play with tracing parts – merging human and machine -The birth of the artificially engineered human where technology becomes the extension of body…


Narrative flows and begins to pulsate with the pushing and pulling of ideas and the space between creation and destruction. There is a battle going on in this artificial post-modern/ post apocalyptic (?) landscape. This place I have come to think of as the Nowhere Space.

 A dematerialization of the real is haunting us, making our opposition to it ineffectual. (Appignanesi / Garratt : 2007:170)

 One shard of light too much…


 In an attempt to create a more relaxed symmetry, some neutrality I impose a strong white shard of light leading from the now whited-out triangle. Instantly I am unhappy with this decision – it doesn’t sit well and leads to nowhere – a nowhere beyond nowhere (?).

Of course, this needed to happen. Resolving mistakes would force me to reconnect with layers and composition. I realized that it was indeed composition and balance that I was now grappling with.

Throughout this piece interplay between different materials has evolved. The most successful for me has been the contrast between the graphic linier marks of the pen and the more fluid marks of charcoal.

Charcoal as a medium has particular qualities. Simplicity and directness but also fluidity, at times an almost liquid quality…allows for the development of a painterly type of drawing, where line, although important, does not dominate. (O’Donoghue: 1993: 2)

Hughie O’ Donoghue made a series of charcoal drawings based on the human body. These drawings are ‘rooted in perception, rather than external observation’ (O’ Donoghue: 1993: 2) and are extremely visceral in their nature, reflecting states of mind and sensations. The body becomes a metaphor within the black void.

odonoghueHughie O’Donoghue Grasp 1993

During my foundation year in 1993 I was lucky enough to have stumbled across an exhibition of these works at the Jill George Gallery in London. Almost immediately I attempted to mimic this impressive use of charcoal producing a series of drawings around the idea of trauma and stress on the body.


Embracing the accident. Deconstruction. Playing with contrast.

Create <->Respond.

This was becoming a historical process.

I continued forth.

Almost there…(42 hours)…


When a system reaches its own limits and becomes saturated, a reversal is produced – something else takes place, in the imaginary as well.            (Baudrillard: 2006: 123)


Baudrillard, J (2006) Simulacra & Simulation The University of Michigan Press

Appignanesi. R & Garratt, C (2007) Introducing Post Modernism: A Graphic Guide to Cutting-Edge Thinking Totem Books

 Gibson, W (1984) Neuromancer Ace Books

 O’Donoghue, H (1993) Hughie O’Donoghue: 13 Drawings From the Human Body Jill George Gallery Ltd


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