This week I have been particularly struck by the work of Alison Carlier. She has just won the Jerwood Drawing Prize with a sound piece called Adjectives, lines and marks. You can hear it here. (I can’t show you a picture as it is aural not visual). The piece is 1 minute 15 seconds long and is a spoken description of a Roman pot. On her blog she says ‘the text describes the object in a way akin to someone making an observational drawing; the voice tracks the thing just as the eye might tracing the image on paper’. This has got me thinking about what a drawing can be.
Alison Carlier quotes Sol Lewitt.
‘since no form is intrinsically superior to another, the artist may use any form, from an expression of
words (written or spoken) to physical reality, equally.’
Sentences on conceptual art, 1969
So a drawing can take any form?
The English language is wonderful as often one word can have many meanings. I’ve just looked up ‘draw’ in the dictionary and the first definition of the word is to ‘pull out, to extract’ and only after that comes ‘to make a picture or a plan with a pencil, pen, ink, charcoal’.
I draw most days. Mostly they are scribbles in my sketchbook…..
…. and very often these scribbles are workings out. How could a piece look? What is its form size, colour or shape? The scribbles help me to pull an idea out of my mind or imagination – to work it out. Drawing is a way of thinking. So if a drawing is ‘thinking’ or ‘working out’ and can take any form – this is a drawing ….
…. and this….
They are all experiments – I was drawing out an idea.
However the time when I extract or draw the most ideas from my head is not when I am sitting with a bit of paper or making something it is when I’m walking – alone. The fresh air and the regularity of my step as I stretch out my legs seem to feed my brain. So I wonder if a drawing can take any form can a drawing be a walk?
Hmmm, I’ll have to think about that one!