Drawing, 2018

This work is evolving out of my PhD research project Uncalibrated Melancholy.

“Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing.”
Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, 1873

Figures is a series of drawings made using stencils and templates, mainly of circles and ellipses (which are key figures in astronomy: conic sections). The stencils are tools to aid precision, accuracy. To draw ‘perfect’ shapes (as opposed to free-hand imperfect ones). They also act as measuring and representational tools. They are tools often used in schools or arts and crafts, simple, ordinary tools for basic tasks, but the act of drawing circles and ellipsis also connects with a child-like fascination with planets, moons and stars.

This execution gives the drawings almost an ‘etched’ quality, which alongside the title hints towards a potential functionality of the images as illustrations. However, the fact that they are unaccompanied by a textual context is an open invitation to reflect on the language of the images themselves. The drawings are life-size, scale 1:1 to the stencils. However, they evoke scientific illustrations, therefore suggesting that we are looking at models or visualisations of larger objects, representations of movement or time. The drawings are a broad exploration of the language of mathematics and geometry and our reliance on scientific instruments to perceive, describe and ultimately know the world around us…