The uncredited woman,
Blind printed etching, drawn lines on scrim, encased in a glass bell jar
The uncredited woman creates a map: a record of cause and effect
The space determining her world
Her state of being
Impacted by the home she shares with 54 other residents and 75 staff
Making her own floor plan, etching her movements into the building
The space determines where I place myself to draw, what materials I use and how I engage with this community
Personal space is critical but limited; subtly learnt
Creating fine lines of connection
I think I am destined to be forever counting, either days of my life or the 27,000 plus pieces of rag need to create the image of Nin. What I won’t count are the seeming thousands of pieces of glass that erupted when I accidentally knocked the toughened glass panel with a rejected image of John. The sound and appearance were spectacular, bringing the piece into sharper focus even as it seemed to disintegrate, blossoming into more thoughts of identity…..
What is the mirror?
What does it offer?
When do I really look?
I can answer that last question: when I draw. Drawing offers unknowable things and then as my hands work, play with ways to articulate what my eyes see, a whole new world unfolds.
Think of all those people, places and things that pass through our lives and what can they reflect back to us……………..
When I first moved to live in the Brecon Beacons one of the first painters I came across was Megan Jones, a passionate painter whose work suggests a deep connection to both the landscape and people who inhabit it. I loved her work even before I met her.
The last time we met we exchanged work. I received an intimate painting of a young woman sewing, Megan had on of my smaller Rare Music paintings. But not only paintings were gifted, plants too. She came to visit us bringing ‘a cutting’ of a rose in full bloom, gathered only that morning and pushed into a pot of coal spoil laden Ystradgynlais soil! I laughed, secretly appalled at the thought that the poor bloom could actually grow. How wrong I was! Ten, fifteen years on we are blessed each year with that wild optimistic gesture with a beautiful rose.
I went to see Megan yesterday, now living in a care home.
I took sweet scented stocks and my sketchbook.
I remembered her wild work and just a for few seconds Megan placed the drawing upright so she could see it.
Artist to artist.
Not everyone can read my figurative drawings indeed, once a 4 year asked my if I could draw ‘properly’ like her Dad.
I draw like myself, often and with constant searching for what is actually in front of me.
At our local dementia drop – in I had an interesting exchange with someone who has Alzeimher’s, a woman who loves to draw. First I asked her if she could read two drawings I had made while sitting in a hospital waiting area before we both went on to draw quite differently.
She described the image content so clearly ” a woman sitting heavily on a chair, resting one arm, with her back to us’ and ‘a man with unusually wild hair’.
I know these scanned drawings are feint but that is a lot of information in a a few pencil marks!
What language do you speak?
What languages do you know?