Bridport Arts Newsletter

Get ‘Drawn In’ to Drawing

Is drawing about line? Or materials? Or sketching? More than that? A new exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre called ‘Drawn In’, invites viewers to explore a variety of approaches by nine artists from London, East Anglia and the South West.

Many of us have a limited understanding of what drawing is but this exhibition promises to open up the possibilities. Workshops for young and old, led by some of the artists, are being held during the exhibition so the public can experiment with different methods and materials.

One unlikely drawing in the exhibition will be made from sound – is it possible to hear a drawing? Penny Brice uses sound in response to the material presence of places with their lives, social issues and forgotten histories. They are sonic traces in the landscape. Caroline Chourou’s drawings can also be very surprising. She uses the transformational possibilities of drawing as a means to think, a tool to channel imagination and memory.

Extraordinarily intricate and large drawings by Helen Dean are featured in the show which depict the essential structure and strength of places like Stair Hole at Lulworth Cove, minutely observed and drawn in pen and ink. Helen will be leading one of the workshops.

Jindra Jehu, who has curated the exhibition, is showing work which is inherently expressive of movement and energy in the natural world. With stunning charcoals of twisted balls of ‘littoral litter’ found along the coast, and drawings sensitively inserted into rocky crags where nature itself becomes the drawing, she explores the flows and rhythms of nature. Jindra will be collaborating with Claire Benson, formerly of Motionhouse, to lead a workshop for the Dorset Youth Dance Company in the main gallery space of the exhibition on 18th May. The aim of this playful workshop is to create choreography with the dancers inspired by the exhibition, and to generate some drawn images on paper.

Jo Saurin’s work too is about movement and energy in the natural environment, but she also celebrates the mysteriousness of nature. Her drawings disrupt the rational visual experience and recording of nature; they are an exploration of what we cannot always see but might feel.

The urban environment on the other hand is the focus of London based Karen Wood’s work, and Karen unusually works with a scalpel to draw. Cutting into and layering electrical tape on paper, she creates dynamic perspectives mixed with subtle and suggestive spaces. Karen will be leading three workshops using this method during the exhibition.

Zara McQueen uses cut up and torn images to help construct carefully drawn landscapes. She might include pieces of self-portrait drawings, collaged in for the inquisitive viewer to find. Antonia Phillips, from Cambridge, peels away layers of the natural world in her drawings and prints to reveal the skeletal structure, or perhaps chaos, of nature. The freedom of her line is partially created by the spaces, which in turn are created by line.

Paul Carpenter, a freelance illustrator based in London is displaying wonderfully observed drawings of people at work and play. His images capture their character and suggest their stories through their particular physical attitudes.

The variety of drawings on show will challenge the expectation of visitors to this show and they live up to the words of Emma Dexter (Curator of Contemporary Art, Tate Modern) “To draw is to be human. Drawing is everywhere, we are surrounded by it, it is sewn into the warp and weft of our lives

‘Drawn In’ in the Allsop Gallery 11 May – 15 June 

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