Sunday Salon 13, Saturation Point, Deptford, September 2021

Finishing lines

A piece of fabric hangs in the studio. It is a discarded section of material from the point when a punch card knitting machine changes from one pattern to another, a stretch of textile with a boundary in the middle that is both a finishing line and a starting line.  A remnant of the lineage of my own family history; the knitted scrap reminds me that the lines I weave in pen are bound to me in strands of DNA.  Employing a systematic approach to the making of a drawing is what brings me to Saturation Point and yet this exhibition occurs as new modes of expression enter my practice.  I want to question my finishing lines.

A series of works at different stages of completion reveal the forces at play behind the veil of refined line. The tick-tock metric of the drawn lattice speaks of circadian rhythms, the heartbeat, routine and security of actions continued from moment to moment. Woven pen lines undulate over painted surfaces and are increasingly sucked back into washes of colour. The forms that emerge have connotations of the patterns of nature replicated at different scales and the systems and forces that shape the way life plays out.  I find myself pushing against the repetitive mark-making that I know to offer me some satisfactory end point to a piece of work, breaking my own system of rules.   Something more solid or expressive is fighting through and colour, which at first seeped into drawings, has found a foothold and is grappling for centre stage. 

I am interested in states where these opposing forces are held together in tension.  Rather than resolution or harmony, the situation I find most alluring is compromise.  There are battles happening between surfaces, brush-stroke against pen line, the expressive versus the refined, hard edges and soft openings, tangible forms or ethereal colour fields.  Often a previous incarnation of a painting is the finished state I long to retrieve.  Working in layers of colour, painting and line drawing, different strata exist within a delicate balance of concealment and revelation. 

The works on display at Sunday Salon challenge my own commitment to the reductive artistic language that anchors my practice.