Do Sculptors draw differently?
View through the window, 4th June at The Royal Society of Sculptors (Dora House) London an evening of drawing with UCL IOE PGCE students.
'Parallel Lines: Sculpture and Drawing' the most recent exhibition at the RSS was the site for an interesting evening for 12 PGCE Art & Design artist teachers, myself and Dan the Learning Officer this week. It was an opportunity to explore the relationship between sculpture and drawing in a practical workshop situation via a series of drawing exercises led by Dan.
The exhibition formed the backdrop and stimulus for us to create and respond. Drawings from The Ingram Collection of Modern British Art are paired with drawings by contemporary sculptors, in a conversation which plays out across the paired works and the show as a whole. The artists featured range from Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink to Cathie Pilkington, Richard Deacon and Laura Ford. It is quite intriguing, the idea of a dialogue in drawing on paper between the different generations of sculptors, in the pairing and across the gallery; the established and the reasonably new.
Whilst the workshop exercises were clearly interesting to the artist teachers, frankly they just wanted to have a break and a glass of wine at this busy time of year, I felt slightly cheated. By that I mean we didn't touch upon the conversations or concepts around the language of drawing and sculpture. We didn't explore the idea, as the exhibition title suggests, that drawing and sculpture are parallel or even that they maybe intertwined.
For me I have been ambivalent about drawing over the years of making sculpture, mainly because I always feel that my drawing is not very good. Whilst I realise it has been a useful tool, it has only been more recently that I have felt it to be more of an essential tool. In my drawings I carry out inquiries in a range of materials on to paper. But I also draw for other reasons rather than simply as a preliminary to make a thing. At times there may be a clear demarcation between the drawing and the sculpture, they exist in different planes and are independent. At other times the distinction between the drawing and making things is more blurred. What I have more recently realised is that I prefer to exhibit works on paper in relation the 3-D work, rather than in isolation - I sense there is reciprocity between the two disciplines.
The piece above I made yesterday in the studio, 'Hole/Whole' as such feels like it is a part of the series of found objects I'm working on around 'Soles/Souls' (below). They feel more in dialogue than simply in parallel to each other. They are being made at the same time and in the same space, one on the wall, one on the floor. I don't feel they are in competition, they are not necessarily opposites, one appealing to the more optical, the other to the more tactile. I suppose there exists an interplay between them, with my attention to surface and material and perhaps line and form? A discursive conversation between the disciplines, or just different voices on the same thing?