pen to paper

duck house sketch

duck house sketch

oil and water sketch (fracking and flooding)

oil and water sketch (fracking and flooding)

As I start to articulate my journeys through drawing, I find myself facing familiar questions. My natural inclination seems to be ‘borrowing’ – using illustrative languages to play with the narrative elements that interest me. This allows me to take up and collide different ecological and cultural imaginaries, a direct way of ‘thinking’ the questions and contradictions through drawing.

It feels like a productive avenue but an awkward one in some ways – I find myself treading a precarious line between deliberately naïve and cute. I’m not sure I’ve found something I’m happy with yet, though I do feel its an investigation I want to make. I also come up quickly against the limits of my own skills and repertoire – how do I make the use of familiar tropes serve my purpose without merely reinforcing or becoming entrapped within them?

These are ‘early days’ questions, and while I expect they will stay with me, I hope the process of simply drawing more will begin to provide an answer – my discontent so far is partly the frustration of first attempts.

On a recent exchange (Between Two Tides) between artists and geographers on the Severn and the Waddenzee I met Veronica Vickery (veronicavickery.co.uk) whose research is following similar lines on the Poniou in West Cornwall (http://poniou.wordpress.com/). Her drawings and paintings accompany walking, photography and other modes of practice to ‘unsettle’ an intimate landscape.

The exhibition at the Showrooms in December will consist entirely of drawings produced as part of Tidal Recall and related work in the Bristol waterscape, so this coming month is an opportunity to thrash out some of these questions, or at least begin beating a pathway into the mire.

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