For the 8 artists in this group show curated by Violet Faigan, drawing is only one of several modes of expression practiced by each, and in most cases takes second place to other art forms (music, photography, installation) and day jobs. It is the basic immediacy and convenience of drawing which gives these artists the impetus to pick up the felt tip, pencil or biro, making an instant mark on the page. An established photographer, Ann Shelton has recently used drawing as another form of creative output while travelling.
In some works such as Kirsty Cameron’s series of dark pencil drawings Fires in the Sky, the act of drawing seems to be an obsessive impulse and can at times become a therapeutic method of expression and communication. Violet Faigan and Simon Cuming often incorporate drawing into their installation practices. Here Faigan has used the medium to extend her interest in portraiture with old-fashioned illustrations of female singers (Peggy Lee, Marlene Dietrich and Julie London). In contrast to these portraits, Cuming focuses in on a more boyish subject, carefully depicting the fly in his triptych entitled Bonjour Mssr Courbét.
Faigan and many of the artists here also play music in bands (Jad Fair, Simon Cuming, Stella Corkery and Alan Holt). The influence of band posters and record cover art is most obvious in the collage works by Stella Corkery, depicting the kind of all-girl band common to the imagination of most teenage girls. American artist and musician Jad Fair uses his time on the road to work on his felt pen drawings, utilising a child-like aesthetic with references to pop music and cartoon characters. This naive style runs throughout the exhibition, the artists and curator all sharing an appreciation for outsider art and the hobbyist. Like many of the artists in this group, Graham McFelin has a history of exhibiting in project spaces (including Fiat Lux and the Honeymoon Suite). Here he combines drawing and object to create the smallest work in the show with a whited-out cigarette packet.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Up the Arts
Canta, March, 2003, p.24
No direct line from my brain to my heart
The Physics Room Annual, 2003