Last week in a Twitter conversation Kate Murdoch kindly asked me how things were going post-degree – “trying to find order in the chaos – need to be patient and let the dust settle I think!” I said, to which Kate replied “Yes, time to process is good I always think – hard, though, like you say to be patient!”
I’m exactly at the point that Kate touched on – processing the experiences of the last few months – my work, the degree show and graduation; leaving the safe boundaries of college and establishing my practice. I feel unsure of who I am as an artist all of a sudden – I think this is because I cant see what is ahead of me – in the way I could at college. Perhaps I have become rather institutionalised.
As I had my morning walk around the meadow next to my house I began to piece elements of my working processes together – patterns in my processes and outcomes; connections. I thought about how my responses tend to develop.
First I select objects and respond to them directly and simply by outlining them – thus acknowledging their presence, their existence.
Then I respond to the object , considering its context and drawing it as simply as I can in an attempt to drum up the essence of the thing.
I write a lot at this point to immediately reflect on the process. This drawing seems to be at the core of my work , I make links to context here and begin to get a feel for how my response will develop further – an intuitive stage.
I then seem to decide on how I wish to proceed – materials, motifs, content and the work continues to develop.
I suppose what I’m doing here is thinking out loud about my working process and as a result I answer my own question – this is what I do. Over the last six years whilst studying I have made all kinds of work in several mediums. Some of this time I haven’t really known about what I’ve really done – just made – sounds strange not to have known or understood all my work. In the early days I think at times I made work and moved on without truly seeing its meanings. Now I’m standing back and seeing how some of the threads I created in the second and third years of study figure in my current work. This is very tied up in drawing and the influence of working at The Drawing Gallery at that time http://www.thedrawinggallery.com.
Whilst working at the gallery I studied the wide range of works held there and was able to dip into books and catalogues. I really got to look at to drawings in depth. Drawing is exciting – its so immediate and explicit of the hand and mind that created the lines – that we subsequenlty observe. Drawing to me is so readable.
Straight after the degree show I took part in a collaborative project and really enjoyed bringing drawing into the process. it met my need to respond in an immediate, intuitive and simple way. I feel that this response shows in the drawings I made.