Given the option of materiality or installation as a direction for our drawing course I chose materiality. Why? Because I enjoy pushing the boundaries of materials, exploring and learning about them, and using materials in unexpected ways. And also because in sculpture we are already working within the realms of installation.
I had a list of materials to chose from and I narrowed it down to charcoal, clay, mylar, twine, and tape. Charcoal was too much of a standard drawing material in my mind. I have already worked with clay and mylar. It was a coin toss between twine and tape. I didn’t want to really work with tape since my good friend Veronica utilises tape for her artwork but the coin refused to let me work with twine so after three tosses I finally succumbed.
I chose to work with clear packing tape and I worked with it for a few days before coming to the realisation that it was near impossible to photograph. I switched to kraft tape. The first part of the brief called Material Taxonomies allowed us to explore our material while documenting the results.
The second part of the brief, Material Thinking & Drawing Strategies, asked us to “develop a final body of work that explores your new sensitivity to materiality while engaging more specifically and critically with drawing strategies.” My final exploration during the taxonomy project saw the tape and charcoal evolve into three dimensional objects which in their own right were line drawings. I pushed this concept further by turning the drawings into drawing machines. With the help of a small fan the drawing machines came to life, dancing on the paper, and making marks. I was excited by this but also unhappy with the mechanical aspect and noise of the fan. In between rain storms and violent gusts of wind I moved my drawing machines outside under my grapefruit tree and set them free. They danced for hours and created some fascinating charcoal drawings.