D r a w i n g  Gallery

Drawing Sense

 

"I have drawn for as long as I can remember. This is not unusual; in fact, it is typical. As infants we are given something to draw with before we are able to talk, before language becomes the predominant form of thinking. Drawing is to visual thinking, what writing is to linguistic thinking. Through drawing I am able to approach visual modes of thinking that proceed those firsts words and continue to evolve in parallel with them. However, through the body’s encounters with the world, another non-visual, non-linguistic sensibility arises. A sensibility or understanding of material founded on sensory perception. Drawing affords a voice to these phenomenal encounters with the world, from sensory and gestural mark making to the use of non-traditional ‘substances’ that activate a surface and in turn our perception. Drawing is able to formulate, embody and represent our experiences, dreams and rational understanding of the world and ourselves. 

 

My primary interest in drawing is in its capacity to imaginatively ‘reach’ towards an unknown or partially known idea, towards a sensed or unformed idea. It is also the capacity on rare occasions to make space for the genesis of an idea. Drawing is so close to thinking. As thinkers, both linguistic and visual, we sometimes have a sense that ideas exist independently of ourselves – proceeding and exceeding us – we give them temporal shape, after our individual and collective understandings and sensibilities. We also sustain and incubate these ideas, giving them impetus and volition. Linguistic ideas are formally and evolutionarily determined. Through dialogue the strongest most robust and adaptable ideas are given precedence. 

 

However, we must always be mindful of the temporal shape we give ideas and of the sensibility we bring to ideas through our encounters with materials and surfaces. Ideas then are also materially determined, reflecting non-verbal languages of matter, marks and substances. In both linguistic, visual and material expression, ideas have agency, at least in how we experience them acting on the mind and the body. Drawing, as a visual expression of language and material-based ideas, reaches towards the unknown in order to describe it more accurately – give it greater definition and clarity. In drawing, language-based ideas are formulated through narrative, allegory, symbol, plan or diagram, while material-based ideas are formulated and given texture and character through mark, performance, action and gesture. I have used drawing in a number of ways in my own practice, all of which evidence these forms of thinking already explored."