Drawings

On Monday we had our first day of drawing, with Kathy. We started off by simply writing notes about our collections and why we had chosen our objects. I ended up writing mine in a list, describing all the things that intrigued me about these fragmented objects within my collection. I liked the idea of listing as it was indicative of the fragmented idea I am considering through my box clever project, in a way these disjointed adjectives and thoughts are grouped and become related and relevant to each other through the new narrative I have given.

The exercises we went through were really exciting and challenged me to embrace a new way of drawing rather than the traditional transcription of an object exactly as it appears. I think there is great skill in being able to do this but when photography is so accessible I feel drawing should speak in its own language by recording but also commenting and adding something personal through how we represent something. Kathy was trying to get us to understand and idea of grids and looking at breaking up our objects, through cross sections, silhouettes, to scrutinize and represent the objects in new ways. Some of the drawing techniques were new to me and apealed to my appeitie to try everything, i was fascinated by the idea of the dot to dot, where the key points i selected from my rock where then joined in an unexpected way by a partner.

I was absorbed particularly by the last task as we considered quality of line within our drawings. Kathy used descriptions as jumping off boards for exploration of medium and mark. For example how a sharp tip would best convey ‘dotty’, ink ‘liquid’ and the grain of charcoal ‘smokey’ or ‘fuzzy’. These seeds of ideas then grew into something much more exciting as I created ‘hybrid’ drawings. For me, these were exciting as I was able to convey the qualities of the surfaces using a contradiction of different marks. This tension in turn conveys the contrast between alternate surface qualities seen within a single object, with the marks becoming much more descriptive.

The next drawing workshop day was with John Bentley, where we explored ideas of transformation and imagination. We experimented with many exercises such as creating a simplified stencil form and a ‘instruction sheet’ of sorts, giving our objects new meaning through a newly imagined purpose. One process that resonated withe me was where we looked at a chosen object and within a time constraint had to draw, in detail, the entire form stretching out across the A2 page. John made a though-provoking comment on scale and make me realise that by drawing larger scale I would be able to express smaller more hidden marks that I appreciated in greater detail and in this way making them a feature. Due to the time limit, the drawing was about isolating the key essence of the form that ,without which, the object wouldn’t truly be captured.  These observations lent themselves towards the second task where we had to recreate the first drawing from memory, with no visual guide from the object or original drawing. As I faced this blank sheet I was at a loss and couldn’t remember the exact scale or how the lines of broken edges meandered through the piece of bark. However I began drawing and was surprised when I compared the two by how similar they actually were. Due to the many similarities it was most compelling to note the subtleties in the differences. I thought that maybe although I thought I knew very little about the object, through the first drawing and how I observed the object so closely  my eyes had almost ‘read’ it like a page of words and gave my hand the words or marks of how to retell its story. As with chinese whispers, small details were lost in translation but the essence had prevailed. This concept of alterations from the original stuck with me as  one I would like to develop, especially with issues of reconnecting lost objects emerging within my box clever project.

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