I’m currently working on a drawing piece. It’s drawing in the wider sense in that it uses photographic images from the environment around us. These images are a mixture of man and nature creating marks, lines and movement in different ways. These include tidal lines, grass on a slide, railway tracks, tied up shoe laces, sand patterns, refracted light and a whole range of other things. With these photos I cut out shapes out of each image and then created a large montage as a type of line drawing which I then transferred onto canvas.
Much of my work is not just about presenting what I view and how I view it, but also how I respond to it. The detail within these drawings may not made by me but I experienced them. I want to record a personal response to these lines and marks. I plan to do this by using pastels, pens and pencils to create my own subtle markings to sit alongside and interact with the montage drawing.
When we are out and about at one with the environment, we are an integral part of it, not separate. The wind not only swirls the leaves around the ground and flaps a plastic bag caught on a tree. It blows my hair around my head, over my eyes and necessitates me holding my jacket shut. As I walk across the wet grass, I flatten it down, leaving a very faint imprint on where I have been. I interrupt the shadows on the ground as I walk across them and briefly my own shadow may appear. My fingers sometimes leave indistinguishable marks on surfaces I touch, and when combined with the finger marks of many they create dull and smudgy prints. Flowers have dropped onto the footpath from a nearby bush. They will of course decompose over time but will be altered and moved about by the wind and the rain, by the tread of my feet and others. I observe the flyover slicing through the sky above. I briefly see and hear the vehicles speeding past and imagine the people inside these vehicles. I absorb the graffiti on the buildings I pass, wondering who made it, when and why. Water runs down the drains and when it is dry, the remnants of nature and man hover over the metal coverings. My presence is felt in this environment and this environment is felt within me.
I am in awe of the British artist Richard Long whose land art encompasses some of what I am getting at. His extensive walks along the countryside and resulting interactions, creations, records and narratives are a more comprehensive expression of what I am trying to suggest where time and distance play an important part of his mediations. I see my piece as smaller and responding more to that which is created and becomes apparent in the fleeting moments in the personal space around us. It focuses more on the mark making, be it something that is clearly visible or residual or something that is incredibly transient that only exists in a split second of time. I see it as a natural occurrence of man, nature and self, creating a kind of collaborative collage as a type of drawing.
The image I display here is the work at a very early stage. After having drawn within it for a bit, I felt that something was lacking so I have physically begun to build upon the montage drawing part of it again. It may be that it becomes an iterative process where I continually do this until I feels it is time to stop.