Jerwood Space

Does seeing the process behind a finished art work enhance or diminish the impact of the final work? Seeing video footage of Jackson Pollock creating his drip paintings enforces the fearlessness, but also makes clear the thoughfulness behind the apparently random finished works. Seeing the results of x-ray examinations of classic masterpieces, showing the changes made by the artist during the painting is interesting, but can perhaps harm the perceived perfection of the final work. Inscription: drawing, making, thinking presents the work of three artists alongside preparatory material, in order to explore the similarities in their thought processes and the translation of this into the production.

Philip Eglin uses contemporary images, juxtaposed against historical references and his own memories in the four ceramic vessels included in this exhibition. These are presented alongside a re-creation of his ‘ideas wall’: a collage of articles from newspapers and magazines, drawings and handwritten notes.

Collage is more dominant in the work of the second exhibited artist, Charlotte Hodes. Also working with ceramics, as well as large scale paper collage, she uses recurring images of female figures, overlapping flowers, intricate doily-like paper cuts. The overall impression these works create is one of a sumptuous lady’s boudoir, while also aiming to question the use made of the female figure as decoration.

There are less obvious links, either in approach or media with the third artist, David Connearn, whose works are drawing based. He developed an analytical approach to drawing, which results in works whose complexity is only fully revealed on careful study.

The depth of though involved in this ‘investigative analysis of the process of drawing’ is the element of the artist’s practice which relates most explicitly to the theme of the exhibition.

The exhibition has been curated by Amanda Game and Anita Taylor, who developed the theme of the show by working closely with the artists. The text to accompany the exhibition, written by the curators, says that they learnt much but which they feel unable to fully articulate. They hope that this ‘tacit knowledge that is barely expressible by verbal means […] is expressed, more fully, by these works. Expecting a casual viewer to gain the same level of insight that they gained through the iterative approach of putting together the exhibition is unrealistic. However, setting such expectations aside, this exhibition does provide an interesting look at the process of developing and making art.