“Photography is a tool to negotiate our idea of reality. Thus it is the responsibility of photographers to not contribute …
What is the value of drawing?
I have been invited to deliver a seminar, followed by tutorials, about the value of drawing in my art practice, to MA Architecture students at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.
I love drawing – the task consumes me completely – the daily grind disappears when magic happens in my hand. Transposing traditional drawing skills to the computer tablet, with my initial reservation dissipated, as the electric pen becomes both marker and eraser, has not eclipsed my passion. Drawing is really about looking and communicating effectively – not a casual glance but an intense seeing into the depths of something and understanding its relationships within itself and its surroundings – a kind of drawing out followed by editing. Analysis of what elements to record and how to execute them is as fundamental a skill as the quality of seeing.
As a sculptor I harness the process of drawing to understand my subject better – to start the relationship by looking – thinking – looking and looking again, before putting a mark down. There is real joy felt when the visual research narrates the subject as my brain configured it – practice is my ally.
Drawings above – two rope studies in fine liner and two pig studies in charcoal.
“Critical art is an art that aims to produce a new perception of the world, and therefore to create a commitment to its transformation. This schema, very simple in appearance, is actually the conjunction of three processes: first, the production of a sensory form of ‘strangeness’; second, the development of an awareness of the reason for that strangeness and third, a mobilization of individuals as a result of that awareness.”
― Jacques Rancière, Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics
New work – Genius Loci
This digital photomontage takes the image of a fly’s compound eye, magnified 150 times, I photographed this using a scanning electron microscope. Inserted ‘inside’ the eye is a window of an old farm building that intrigued me with its dark interior and a small rectangle of light on the opposite wall. It an image of hope.
What do you see?
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.”
Drawing: montage using foundation photograph 800x magnification of granite core brought back from China, digital handwritten text, photograph inverted of found dead tree, raven drawing.
Still looking for a home … my eye is drawn to deserted ramshackle rural buildings to lay my hat.
Drawing for research for new sculpture ‘Home: 3 bed semi’.
Utilising found rusty bed springs as stencils and nails as masks to create the nests I sprayed paint building up the layers. The image was completed with digital drawing using a wacom tablet.
Extract below from Wikipedia
Anthropogenic biomes, also known as anthromes or human biomes, describe the terrestrial biosphere in its contemporary, human-altered form using global ecosystem units defined by global patterns of sustained direct human interaction with ecosystems.
For more than a century, the biosphere has been described in terms of global ecosystem units called biomes, which are vegetation types like tropical rainforests and grasslands that are identified in relation to global climate patterns. Taking into account the fact that human populations and their use of land have fundamentally altered global patterns of ecosystem form, process, and biodiversity, anthropogenic biomes provide a framework for integrating human systems with the biosphere in the Anthropocene.
“We are embedded in our trash – there is no way to leap beyond it and build a utopia without garbage, to address the contradiction between the world’s limited resources and our seemingly unlimited ability to manufacture trash. Its production is rooted in survival, represented in every culture, and magnified by economic success. To purge the earth of garbage would be to destroy our own reflection.”
Quote from ‘Trash’ 2007 Alphabet City Media Inc
This is about an unattractive part of the puzzle that touches all our lives.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia; Phylum Arthropoda; Class Insecta; Order Diptera; Family Muscidae; Genus Musca; Species domestica.
All round the world there are flies pupating from maggots, hatched from eggs laid in decaying organic matter, spreading disease and generally flying around busily and annoying animals and people. Each common housefly has the potential to commit these undesirable acts for 10-21 days. The Musca domestica cannot eat solids so when it appears to be engrossed in your food it is actually liquefying it with its saliva before ingesting. Tiny hairs on the end of the leg segment actually work like human taste buds and enable the fly to first taste the food it lands on.
The fly can carry a variety of serious diseases including: typhoid, cholera, dysentery and anthrax. It transmits them by transporting the infected organisms onto food either through contaminated food on their leg hairs or by regurgitation.
Flies have delicate wings that beat an amazing 200-300 times a second enabling them to move at speeds averaging 4 miles an hour. The wings provide enough power for impressive manoeuvres such as instant take-off, zigzags, tight spirals and even flying backwards. But it is the pulvilli, the moist suction pads on its feet that allow the fly to do its greatest feat – walk on the ceiling.
All images are of flies taken with the scanning electron microscope at University of Central Lancashire, Preston.
The top two images show the whole fly in a new perspective.
Image immediately above shows the hairs on the fly’s leg magnified at 200 times.
Image below, at 150 times magnification, shows the beauty of the compound eye.