What is Drawing? | project reference and my notes

‘It’s not something we’re usually given to think about: What is it to draw? To make a drawing? To draw some thing, and to do so in some place. John Berger, in an essay in ‘Bento’s Sketchbook’ wrote: ‘We who draw do so not only to make something observed visible to others, but also to accompany something invisible to its incalculable destination.’ What do you think he meant?

The aim of this project is to encourage you to reflect on your current understanding and experience of drawing and to reconsider what drawing might be, as an activity in its own right, as well as what it might be used for.’

‘By starting out from one of the examples listed below we would like you to study and make a drawing from your discoveries.’—from the Project Brief: Albrecht Dürer, The Large Turf (1503); watercolour with body colour on paper | George Seurat, Femmes Avec Deux Filletes (1882-84); conté on paper | Piet Mondrian, Blossoming Apple Tree (1912); oil on canvas | Edvard Munch, Cabbage Field (1915); oil on canvas | Emma Kunz, Work no. 020 (1939); pencil, crayon and oil colour on paper | Mel Bochner, Wrap: Portrait of Eva Hesse (1966); pen & ink on graph paper | Ray Johnson, Nothing (1927-1995) | Mike Parr, 12 Untitled Self Portraits (1990); drypoint on paper | Janine Antoni, Butterfly Kisses (1996-99); Cover Girl Thick Lash mascara on paper | Alison Watt, Phantom (2008); oil on canvas | Joyce Cairns, Conversations with a Kestrel (2018); oil on board

Untitled|four nineteen—four ‘untimely meditations’

Los olivos palidecen—
pero mi amor busca el heurto

—but two has never been a number.


‘Tan, tan / Who’s there? / Autumn again. / What do you want? / The coolness of your temple. / You can’t have it. / I’ll take it. / Knock, knock! / Who’s there? / Autumn again.’


‘At this point in history, how can we talk about private events? Or private moments? When we have television and phones inside our homes, when our bodies have been legislated by the state?’ (Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 1993)

Untitled|two nineteen — Krähe, laß mich endlich Sehn / Treue bis zum Grabe!

As the birds moved around and around on a curtain rail hung between wooden posts, one obstructed another. Not two but many, one after another . .

Silver, white, green, green
Green, silver, green, green, viridian, viridian, purple, purple
Green, grass green, orange, white
Viridian, silver, green, purple
Orange, purple, white, green, green, purple, green, green.

The blackbird tapped at a string with seed-fat hanging from it trying to get it to swing onto the floor of the bird house. It flew off, returned, tried again. I watched something leave its hungry body. The house was in the shadow of a bigger house.

Landfill – Forgetting | project reference and my notes

‘A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.’
— Walter Benjamin

‘The role of forgetting and remembering have changed, from a default of forgetting to one of remembering.
Technology (cheap storage, easy retrieval, global access …) has altered the culture and economy of remembering and ushered in the demise of forgetting. Everything, across generations and time, is now indiscriminately ‘remembered.’ The objects we think with into our past and toward our futures are increasingly dematerialised into digital environments, where, for instance, touch and smell are hard to come by.
But forgetting has been of central importance to our development, as individuals, as societies. It allows us to live in the present and think abstractedly, while if we were unable to forget, we would – as the philosopher E.M. Cioran noted in A Brief History of Decay – ‘be crushed by the weight of our memories.’
Is this happening?
And if so, what effect might this ‘remembering’ be having on us, as individuals, as a society?
How is it changing our social lives, our understanding of family, employment, Time and art?
And what might we learn from the material that we do discard, abandon, throw away and bury as waste? Landfill – that other archive; our material unconscious.

This project asks you to consider ‘the role of forgetting’ in society and make an artwork based on your reflections.’
— from the project brief.

Angel, Still Ugly

The strapline on the back page of the newspaper said, The Last Goodbye.
I was looking.
He was an ugly old man who had got on the train at Stonehaven.
Moving slowly – like the train is now – he gripped the table with both hands and lowered himself into a seat.
He had brittle pubic hairs growing out of the top of his nose, dirty spectacles, grey hair. I could feel the coldness
in his hands.
The previous occupant of the seat had left behind a big empty crisp packet and a travel ticket.
With clenched fists he violently punched these off the table into the seat opposite, clearing space for a newspaper.
And I wondered.
On how many other occasions in his life had he dealt with things
that he didn’t like, things that were in his way, things that he didn’t want to see,
occasions now forgotten,
by punching them into the seat opposite;
out of the room,
out of the ring.





Untitled|eleven eighteen – Vestimentary objects


Jude Walton, Nadja – Léona (see PDF for details)
Oswald Von Wolkenstein (c. 1376-1445) Songs of Myself (harmonia mundi, 2010)
Orange, green, green, viridian | silver, green, green, green
Green, white, silver, purple, white, white – each inscription of song resists institutional folly.
Belief in youth? … Blotting paper? . . This little pig went to market.
Dull blows on wood; everything’s going down – better to be vulgar and use your legs.
‘Everything wrong has been proved wrong.’
Over Kabul there is the pall of burning everything, a bull-cloth over ‘ … our bitch-compound. They burn everything; we’re surrounded by them, by everything.’

Motorway verges . . and a few solitary leaves.
‘Wear a happy face or sink …’
JW_Nadja-Léona_Flyer