I guess this week’s post is a process piece, but I’m not sure I’d call it a systematic approach? I’ve got a few projects zooming round my head – some professional, some personal, and some domestic. The upshot being that the brain can get cluttered, creativity can seem a chore and motivation can dip - which is where these drawings come in... It also helped that I’ve managed to get out to a couple of gallery spaces this week.
These drawings are of work by other artists. They offer an imaginative space in which to play – a space which is constructed by logic other than my own so has a different pressure to work with and within.
Roger Hirons “Untitled” [fig.1] in The Yorkshire Sculpture Park takes the form of two decommissioned Boeing EC-153c aircraft engines and drew me in for many reasons: the sight of these very mechanical objects in the grounds of the park; the detail of the mechanics evident in the construction, as well as the effect of decay in tone and texture; the fact that the engines remind me of the pod racers in the Star Wars prequels (not gonna say much more about those – but the pod-racing was cool); and the play of light and shadow on the hottest day of the year made for a nice composition.
Halima Cassell’s “Flow” [fig.2] in the Manchester Art Gallery is part of an exhibition I was returning to – having only had a brief chance to gawp the first time. Here the complexity of her sculptures and ceramics produces shapes I found myself mesmerised by; and the reflections in the case provoked ways to explore a shape that by definition seeks to hide from the viewer.
Lastly are two drawings from a trip to Italy: “St Peter” by Mochi [fig.3] found guarding the Porto del Poppolo in Rome (full disclosure – I think that’s the right attribution, but I could be wrong) – I just loved the expression and characterisation; and “The Temple of Castor and Pollux” [fig.4] from the Forum for its drama and scale.
Importantly these are drawings of sculptures (*ahem, mostly), bringing the three-dimensional challenges of form, shape, and depth to my drawings. Allowing me to play with shadow, tone, light and reflection and line. They are also detailed – drawings that prompt me to lose myself in the experience of drawing, in the tactile pleasure of blending and building up layers of graphite on paper.
The images are both challenging and zen – focusing my concentration on specific images, whilst simultaneously allowing latent ideas and plans to surface and unclench, letting them spread out from the ball which overthinking had wound them into.