Drawing, a single mark-making tool on a surface, has become central to my practice, the a priori out of which everything flows and grows. Paper as preliminary support is important for my work, it’s cheapness and ubiquity ensure freedom of use, as Jean Cocteau suggested [a medium] will only become an art form once its materials are as cheap as pencil and paper. I draw on small scraps or loose sheets of paper with pencil, charcoal or ink. A process that simply puts carbon to paper and sets it in motion.
These moments of drawing under the radar always seem to me to be the most trustworthy. Direct and unrestrained, the pencil or charcoal make translations of the everyday that tap into previous knowledge buried outside of consciousness. Marks left by matter evolve into images that become recognisable, meaningful as markers for anxieties or joy. These lines reveal all manner of things before conscious thought has had a chance to reform or censor the image, they seek out the knowing that Susan Sontag refers to when we look at images (Sontag, 1964, p.2). Doodles slip through the net of self-censorship making visible what might be hidden or previously unknown. These doodles are manifestations of the every-day, sparked by the moments that puncture it. I draw to find the edges of things, the glitches in the shark’s tank that cause disruption, the ticks that sharpen attention and cause a response. Without conscious direction, the process of drawing discovers a global input of visual information; corporate manipulations, social constructs, received aesthetics as well as personal and political histories.
Doodles are analogous to the dérive; a Situationist mode of experimental behaviour where dérivists pay particular attention to how and where the structures of urban spaces influence their choices and movements through the city. In my drawings, the pencil wanders through virtual territories linked to conditions of technology and information overload rather than cities. I use drawing as a deliberate strategy to search out the shrapnel embedded by external forces, to worry at the technologies that shape us and to filter the increasing overload of digital information. The drawings are a form of discovery because what is made visible is potentially revelatory and in this respect, the work is both personal and political.
The Baby Jesus in a Hazmat Suit (studies)