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Drawing Machines

The concept of spontaneous mark making and idea of line is something that has interested me for a long time. The meaning behind it and what this represents for both the artist and the viewer. However over the last couple of months I have come across the work of some very talented and creative individuals who are pushing the boundaries over drawing and the idea of who is making the mark and how this can be controlled. I will be exploring how these artists have used the idea of structure, machines and repetition to create these pieces of work.

I was fortunate last week to be able to go to a guest lecture where the artist Conrad Shawcross was speaking about his work and practice. Earlier this summer I was some of his work outside the Royal Academy. I was instantly drawn to it because I have a real fascination with structure and shape. His work provides the viewer with the idea of stability and familiarity because of this idea with repetition.  Last year I also had (and still do) a fascination with structures in the landscape and how they can change the dynamic of a place. This lead to studies of pylons and cranes as a starting point for exploring the idea of what repetition and structure can mean to the viewer.

In the talk we were able to learn more about his process and how he conveyed thought process to drawing, and then drawing to sculpture. I think this is what makes Conrad so engaging as an artist, he has a very particular way of working but the fluidity of this and how one thing informs the other so clearly is what makes his work so engaging. I always feel fortunate and able to connect with work more once I know a little more about the artist. This is why I feel so lucky to get the opportunity to listen to practitioners speak.

It's sometimes hard for me to get across why an artists work moves me. This is the second lecture since being at Falmouth University where the kind of work differs a lot to mine in the terms of practice but I love learning about artists way of thinking and making and how this can motivate me more as an artist. Seeing artists who are so clearly passionate about what they do is also something else that Conrad showed so much of in the talk. Artists who have a way with words as well as work like him is something I want to become better at. Being able to talk about your work and captivate and audience is such a powerful thing.

The next duo I'm going to talk about is the work of Ed Eva, who is a graduate from the Drawing degree and George who is also a graduate from Falmouth University Ed and George Baldwin are currently doing a residency at St Anne's in Devon. 

We believe the juxtaposition of modern technology in this 14th Century chapel will refresh the space, inviting in new audiences to engage in the arts as well as the heritage of Barnstaple’s most interesting building”. Ed Eva 

I first came across the work of Ed when I was looking at the graduate catalogues for the Drawing Degree. Straight away I was drawn to his engagement wit the idea of process and contemporary ways of drawing. The drawings created by the machines have a real chaotic quality to them and I think this is why I relate to the work so much. The line quality if beautiful and vibrates on the page when the viewer looks at the piece. The organic but controlled use of line is what makes these pieces so interesting. There is that sense of chaos but the viewer might question this when they know it has been created by a machine. It is capturing the idea of chaos in a controlled way, this is how I interpreted the work as I use repetitive mark making as a way of regaining clarity and control. This piece resonated with me because of the way I work. 

Edmund Eva and George Baldwin


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