22 September 2014

Abstract Drawing, a book, a scrap of fabric and an old skirt.


I attended the Abstract Drawing seminar at the Drawing Room in London, earlier this year. Richard Deacon spoke in detail with a careful search for his words. 'You draw as a witnessing activity' he says and considers abstract drawing is a work made purely for itself. He questions how we read the shapes and marks 'I am obviously a rule based person' 'interested in both lines and process', Deacon is finding his thoughts in a physical place as he speaks, drawing it out with his hands in silent gesture as he moves through his thoughts.

During the Q&A he asks do you think space is abstract or concrete? A very big question.

I remember this when gazing at the wonderful tiny pencil sketch in Malevich at the Tate Modern.


Suprematist Composition and Self-Portrait pencil on paper 2014
Suprematist Composition and Self-Portrait 2014

Last week I discovered a book on the abstract artist John Carter written by Chris Yetton in 2010 and published by the Royal Academy. These were both influential tutors when I was at Chelsea College of Art. I had many long and valuable discussions with John Carter at a time my painting was in transition.  Heuristic painted at this time was the beginning of my new work.

Heuristic 1992, oil on canvas and board
Heuristic 1992, oil on canvas and board

I was sad to hear of the death of Roger Ackling this year. He was also a very influential tutor at Chelsea and very kindly gave me this found scrap of fabric after an in depth tutorial. It was always wonderful and very helpful to speak to him.

Found fabric scrap 1992 from Roger Ackling
Found fabric scrap 1992


My roots in abstract art are deep beginning with an abstract drawing screen print on calico from 1967.

Screen printed skirt on calico, abstract print from 1967
Abstract screen printed skirt in calico 1967

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