This project has considered time as a multilayered component of making work; the elapsed time taken to conceive it, to execute the series of drawings and then combine them into a single piece, and the viewer’s time to consume the final works.
Drawing self portraits quickly has resulted in very mixed results. Some of the drawings are a likeness and some are very poor in terms of proportions, some tentative, some bold. My objective for the individual drawings was to find a balance between some degree of representation and the energetic, expressive mark. As you look through the drawings, it is possible to see an ebb and flow between these two. Initially, the representational drawings are tighter and more detailed and the freer marks are less accurate. As the time progressed, the drawings have become freer and simpler whilst retaining some accuracy. The drawings might have ended up completely abstract and that would have been fine, but, in the event, I was unable to leave representation behind, and that’s fine too.
Overlaying the drawings has been useful in showing me that I consistently make the nose and upper lip too long; something to have in my mind when I draw in life class.
My tutor has remarked that I am very process driven and, as the course progresses, I now understand this in a way I did not before. A finished drawing was never as interesting to me as its making and it has been a revelation that process can itself be the outcome. Producing a video felt completely appropriate. The length of time to view the video maps the time taken for a single drawing and the sound track records the process of a single drawing from the starting ping though the scratches of charcoal, to the final fixing spray and timer bell. A four minute video is perhaps over-long for assessors but it is necessary and fitting. I have had to learn a video editing and layering package and my lack of skill is evident with jumpiness in places.
Combining the physical drawings into an artist’s book extends the process. Creating a physical object that the viewer can handle, leaf through and consider over an extended period of time has immense appeal to me, both as a consumer of art and a creator. A book has a long life. It will never be inaccessible because technology has moved on. It can sit on a bookcase waiting to be pulled out on a whim. Both these works break with the tyranny of rectangular, wall-hang art which is always an underlying ambition.
Initially, I struggled to think what I was going to do for this project. By standing back, considering what I am best at and what I find most interesting, going back to earlier work and course books, I feel that I have found a way through to an outcome which goes to the heart of the project and the course and which will also be significant for my future practice.