Untitled, Gillian Lock-Bowen, 2016, 182.88 cm x 121.92 cm x 30.48 cm

The images above demonstrate developments in a series of drawings based on an idea I was processing about substructures in my abstract paintings. While these underlying structures are complex (e.g. intellectual, physical, emotional and neurological) I felt that I needed to manifest something physical.

The motivation to construct something tangible which visualised my thoughts developed from frustration.

When thinking about (rather than feeling) the process of painting abstract images, it was impossible to say how they came about other than in terms of my emotion, mood and movement.

Although operating within these parameters is perfectly reasonable, the contextualisation of the images must reach further than the limits of my awareness and I wanted to find out whether I could reveal sub-structures underlying the process of making through drawing.

To elaborate, my abstract paintings are devoid of planning or premeditation. The final image arrives as a stopping place while other overpainted images feel like pauses, resting places or reflect brief periods of inactivity.

That said, I felt that the one intention which repeatedly surfaced while I painted was an urge to bring additional dimensions to the images.

I therefore decided to draw in 3D; to draw on a large scale so that I could be in amongst the marks; and to physically reposition the marks as many times as I wished before fixing them, or not. I also wanted to be able to layer and reconfigure the marks.

The drawings were made on the basis of relationships, proximity and proportion.

Upon reflection, these drawings did not reveal anything to me about what I think of as substructure underpinning the process and stages of an abstract painting.

Perhaps a more productive way of achieving that aim is to document an abstract painting at every stage – analyse, reflect upon and critique the possible input that directed events as they unfolded and the possible filters applied to a painting – a massive undertaking requiring discipline. It is a project that would dramatically interrupt and slow down the process of painting which feels like a intrusion. However, it would dictate a slower pace when painting which would provide more opportunities to consider the painting as it emerges.

Untitled,, Gillian Lock-Bowen, 2016, 182.88 cm x 121.92 cm x 30.48 cm

In the image above, I have added a small ink drawing on watercolour painted paper and a monochrome photograph of Essex Brutalist architecture.

These items are resting on the drawing – sections of which are balancing on others. Thus, the drawing became a supporting structure.

I am unsure about imposing a function on the drawing, but I am at ease with building-up relationships with other materials and other drawings.

I am taking the drawings further to form a suite of interconnected works. And, I will explore wall, corner, ceiling and floor configurations together with a range of surfaces such as mirrors.

I also intend to film the making of these drawing to demonstrate the infinite possibilities inherent in human behaviour e.g. changing our physical location and reconstructing the spaces we build and inhabit.