For me, drawing does not begin and end with the connection of materials: pen to paper, charcoal to wall, or knife to clay. It starts with a thought that grows, leading to the collection of tools, the gathering of materials, the curating of objects. Through a process of realigning the broken, the accidental and discarded, new narratives are written.
My studio practice is often based on the actions of a collector ... items are found, and squirrelled away, to be brought out of hiding at various points in time, and temporarily married to other objects as a way of seeking out new narratives. The window sills, shelves and huge table, provide a great framework to try new pairings, and seek out new stories.
But sometimes, there is nothing that needs to be done, aside from an intervention to rescue and present what is already there. My latest collection is of around 30 unwanted hardback books, all part of The Thriller Book Club. Faded, scribbled, torn and tatty, they are more beautiful than I can say ... thank you Brenda x
The first time I visited the Centre Pompidou was as an innocent art student over 30 years ago. In the same year I had my first introduction to the works of Cy Twombly at a small gallery in Cork Street, London. His works reduced me to tears, and still do. It is fair to say my path through life has been forever steered by that time.
twombly (verb) :
To hover thoughtfully over a surface, tracing glyphs and graphs of mischievous suggestiveness, periodically touching down amidst discharges of passionate intensity.
twombly (noun) :
A line with a mind of its own.
Simon Schama: Cy Twombly at the Hermitage. 50 years of works on paper, 2004
Also on show in Paris are two smaller Twombly related exhibitions, both at The Gagosian gallery. The first, Orpheus, is a beautifully staged exhibition of some of Twombly's works on paper, which until now have not been brought together.
To complement these works, the Gagosian are also showing an intimate exhibition of poetic photographs by Sally Mann, selected from her time spent photographing Twombly and his studio: Remembered Light, Cy Twombly in Lexington.
In light of Twombly's death in 2011, and the knowledge that his studio will never again know his presence, Mann's photographs feel particularly intimate, and we are aware of the ability of a photograph to turn the present into a memory. Stunning.
1. caught in or as if in a tangle
2. involved in an undesirable situation from which it is difficult to escape
If there was an exhibition from which it would be difficult to escape, I can think of worse places to be trapped than the current exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate, "entangled" - an exhibition of over 40 international artists who explore materiality, particularly in respect of thread, stitch and fabric, in their work.
The works on show vary in scale from minute grass seed heads, to a ceiling high column made from taut horse hair, but all have something more important to say than their initial forms and humble materials initially suggest.
The first work to grab my attention was Geta Bratescu's Bound Fan - a wooden hand held fan, rendered impotent by being bound tightly shut by a single, delicate thread. There is something intriguing by the notion of the functional being rendered useless by such a gentle intervention. Susan Hiller's Painting Blocks echo this idea of contradiction - oil paintings on canvas, cut and bound with thread into a stacked block, so that the original painting is both present and absent at the same time.
Other notable exhibits include Karla Black's What to ask of others - a large sheet of pale pink polythene, draped and suspended in the gallery space. The work acts as both painting and sculpture, and we are forced to reexamine our understanding and expectation of a familiar, often disposable, material. Stunning.
Thoughts, works, adventures and responses from the studio and beyond