memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Thursday 20 January 2011

"Hidden Spaces" sketchbook exhibition: sharing a vitrine with Grayson Perry.

Everybody knows Grayson Perry. Even my daughter (10) knows the potter who looks like Alice (in the Wonderland) and makes vases with penises. OK, she may not be an average ten year old. She does get dragged around galleries a bit. However, it did impress her, that I had to share a vitrine with the Grayson Perry!

Danny has assembled this really interesting exhibition of sketchbooks, that were shown at Camberwell for a week. I brought in mine just as he was arranging the others, therefore, I had a chance to flick through some amazing - I mean really amazing - and creative sketchbooks.

Dannys own sketchbooks are quite remarkable. He uses old books and works on top of them: a kind of pamplicest. Stephen Cooper's and Janet Bradley's sketchbooks are very "
there": bright, bold, full. Natalie Yaxi brought bound volumes of junk mail. Grayson Perry, Christa Harris and me contributed "pocket" sketchbooks, used for casual notes and scribbles. I flicked though Perry's book yesterday. It was full of Jesuses and Marys and churches. A few rabbits on the bikes, a few babies, a few pretty girls. A hint of darkness. A fire. Some writing. It was not much different from his ceramics. However, I am tempted to say, that I enjoyed the sketchbook more, than his vases (and I do love his ceramics!). Is it because it is so much more immediate? More personal? Like looking into the person? Like getting to know the person.
(I suppose aesthetics of the work is the same, but content changes from personal to public).

Hidden Spaces Exhibition
For most artists sketchbooks have been spaces in which to rehearse and experiment without the pressure
of the outside world. This removal of audience creates a non judgemental, safe environment which
stimulates explorative play which in turn can feed the creative process. Many artists have told me they
consider their sketchbook work as important as final published works yet have never exhibited or shown
this work before, this still surprises me. The purpose of this exhibition is to bring together sketchbooks from
a range of successful practitioners that for the most part have never been exhibited.

1 Danny Aldred
My sketchbooks represent a process centred around the enjoyment of collage and the final completed
books on the most part have inadvertently become finished pieces in their own right. As a child Brian
Eno described his enjoyment of collecting fossils from the beach and described this process as ‘beyond
thinking’, when I am collecting material and making my sketchbooks I can relate to this comment.

2. Janet Bradley

3 Stephen Cooper
This selection of some 60 drawings is taken from a total of 300 drawings executed over four consecutive
days in Paris. The project began on the Eurostar journey from London and was completed during the return
journey. The drawings shown here were made in my hotel room, many between 2 and 4 in the morning
when I deliberately worked in complete darkness and was unable to view the paper. The subjects come
from memory and are concerned with science, brain function and consciousness. I have made drawings
in hotel rooms across the world for over 15 years but never “blindly” in this way or as intensively. They
represent a synthesis between collaged images and the process of drawing and thinking - a kind of collaged
drawing. I am interested in the unity of this process. My intention is to publish my drawings in various hotel
rooms in a series of books as well as to use them as a basis for a new body of painting installations.

4 Margaret Cooter
Crossing through, I become the last and only person to read this journal - having written it more than 10
years ago. The viewer is spared the moans, fears, doubts, exhortations, and trivia; dissolved or cancelled,
un-written, they are buried but have been ceremonially honoured. The insights, plans, ideas live on,
elsewhere; all content has been transformed.

5 Egidija Čiricaitė
My favorite sketchbooks are not the project books, but the handbag sketchbooks used for random thinking,
drawing and visual experimentation. I compile them using whatever is available at hand at that instant:
pens, soot, menus, weeds, tickets, etc. Those sketcbooks imprint the moment; they are directly linked to
the past through the existencial traces of the time and space where they were produced.

6 Andrew Foster
A sketchbook for me goes beyond an object, a sketch or a finished piece. Its simply about an attitude to
visual exploration. Its a place where you can allow yourself to visually be sick, without any pressure, pre
conceptions or boundaries from yourself or others. Its an intellectual space to play with intent.

7 Christa Harris

8 Charlotte Knox-Williams
I stopped making sketchbooks, and instead re-applied the principles or functions of these across my
practice. This folded drawing is a part drawn from a wider inter functioning conglomeration of work that
includes film, text, performance and installation.

9 Grayson Perry
10 Stewy
The selected sketch books were created in Toulouse, France in 1994. Between life drawing lessons I
explored the streets for three months making pen and ink architectural drawings, collages, photos,
collecting, food packaging, wallpaper scraps, tickets etc.

11 Natalie Yiaxi