A group of artists uncover the story behind their ‘finished’ pieces on the wall, revealing insights into the creative process at all its stages and across a range of materials and styles.
Exclusive Event: a tête-à-tête with the artists: Friday 2nd September.
This event has passed however the exhibition continues to 11 October.
Drawing is a process that is layered with the unknown. It is both immediate conceptual expression and a conduit for the unexpected; by engaging in the process new associations are formed and discoveries are made, leading to a destination that may be very different from initial intentions. In this exhibition Railway Street artists uncover the story behind their ‘finished’ pieces on the wall, revealing insights into the creative process at all its stages and across a range of materials and styles. Drawing can serve as catalyst. Simply putting pen or brush to paper without preconceived notions about the result can start a dialogue where the work will tell you where it wants to go next.
"What is fascinating to me, is how we read and interpret the myriad of scaffolding/construction processes, that is drawing. Once the first mark is made, the computer, that is your brain, is immediately and massively instantaneously solving problems. Is the LINE (just made), too short or too long, too heavy or too light, too straight or too curved etc, and then it’s suddenly made a greater problem to solve as soon as you add the next line. Should it intersect, be complimentary, and parallel ... and so on. It’s about how we engage and develop associations during the process, when our expectations are so often entrenched in our own preconceived and inevitable visions for the final outcomes."
"In drawing, within the processes of active listening the artist thinks and feels beneath the surface of the visual artwork, to bring forth what is both immediate and beyond this. A construction of the inner and outer space is created by the artist’s dialogue between."
By creating parameters around mark-making we allow the work to be more process driven. Taking the hand of the maker out of the equation provokes the question who is in control–the creator or the creation?
"I chose to set myself some rules that would limit my intervention with the movement of the materials used and avoid contact with the canvas. I was only to use ink and a hairdryer. No brushes, no palette knife, no other tools to make marks. I would be drawing with ‘hot air’... The ink moved in a unpredictable way, both fast and slow as it met with resistance from the canvas and the hot air. I controlled the hairdryer but I wasn’t particularly in control of what it made happen. It was curious to watch the shapes unfold. It was random and at times surprising... Throughout the process, my hand had not made contact with the canvas."
Work begets work. The experimental possibilities of drawing are an ideal way of refreshing art practice. Taking the emphasis off the result clears the way for new ideas to emerge.
These experimental pieces are simplified landscape forms exploring the forest light and edges when facing towards the sun.
"Drawing in Flow has been described as “a state of consciousness that produces effortless action... a moment where we are utterly immersed in the activity we are performing.” These oil pastel and ink works of mine were created following a major solo exhibition of my paintings when all I wanted to do was to play and experiment with new and totally different materials. I wanted to respond to the medium I was using rather than control it. To let it float and flow, dictating yet irrespective of the end result. I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity and happy accidents that ink rolling around on wet paper can create. There is freedom in drawing in flow!"
"To distract myself from focusing too much on results I have restricted the subject matter to three repeated faces and have chosen techniques and materials that I have not used before: collage, acrylic, pitt charcoal and watercolour. I have really enjoyed the immediacy of these works, asking myself “what would happen if I ...” and letting the work unfold without trying to control it too much. It has been exciting to walk the tightrope between new discovery and screwing things up completely."
Our attempts to represent the external world are necessarily mediated through our personal response to it. Representations of place can evoke how it feels to physically be there, give a sense what has transpired at that location and can also serve as a metaphor for our inner realities.
"A chance remark led to my delving into the history of the Hauraki Plains, going back much further than my great grandfather’s arrival, knocking my ‘prosperous land for dairy farming’ narrative off its pedestal. I’m just at the start of this project, and this work is a result of my reading and discovery so far."
"The drawing process in my practice involves discovering things experientially, immersed in the physicality of site. During daily walks and observations of our local Mairangi Stream, I’ve been a close witness to the way elements of this environment interrelate. I observe, reflect, interpret and journal, creating a record of interactions better to understand the place’s shifting and fluid nature. I seek to include elements of the tangible and sensed together with concerns about patterns and rhythms of life forms above and below the water’s surface as I aim to capture a sense of what it feels like to be there."
“Inner Turmoil”: Created using seawater from Muriwai to aid a physical connection between place and finished work. A window-to-the-soul shows a turbulent inner ocean threatening to overflow. This image is part of an ongoing process to combine seascapes with portraits in a meaningful way."
"The objective of my pencil and charcoal life drawing in class is to transfer my (quick 3 minute) gestural drawings of the models I draw onto a canvas. I then paint the models/nudes into a story using acrylic paint sometimes adding collage to pay homage to Matisse."
Key to fully experiencing the exhibition is the artists’ thoughts about their process. We would encourage you to take the time to read their statements in full at the exhibition.