(with)Drawing

My practice = drawing, reading, drawing, stitching, writing, drawing and withdrawing, thinking, drawing, despairing, hoping again, drawing…

An everyday, continuous flow of drawings on paper, and sporadic alternative forms which grow from this activity : collective wall-drawings, long-durational performance-drawing, embroidery and knitting installations, printmaking, animation, live drawing in theatre…. 

I started by knitting (giant objects) and sewing (curious clothes) for this was the only kind of making I knew, but I have since been drawn to drawing along a path including dissection at Medical School, an endless nomadism between France and Scotland, and an aura of secrecy and deceit in my family. 

For a long time a hidden activity for me, I draw because it is intimate, fragile, nomad, subversive when enigmatic, experimental, immediate, in-between thinking and making, secret and underground : the medium of freedom and resistance. At the root of all my work are my notebooks full of daily sketches and delirious written notes and diagrams. I do not seek to represent anything seen, rather I aim to conjure an otherness, an excess, by distorting ‘into’ reality. 

My drawings are ‘inscapes’, inner landscapes of the mind, for drawing is ex-orbitant (a detour of the eye), radically other, on the margins and is able to depict things that are wrong. Do drawings reveal the soul or do they forever harbour some secret? Using a semi-automatic technique oscillating between compulsion and intention, I draw growth, human bodies gone a bit awry, plants, machines, other living creatures, doing strange things, in pictures that suggest a lurking madness. My drawings have a narrative aspect to them and I play with this by presenting them in rhizomic clusters, sometimes combined with text, where each individual drawing can be moved to be part of another cluster creating tangled stories and meanings. 

My drawing activities are very much supported by my reading and my erratic writing practice which takes the form of fragmentary theoretical notes, found phrases stolen here and there, the creation of anagrams and more personal texts (written in ‘franglais’ reflecting my own in-between/double identity).  

 

My most recent research explores notions of  ‘communitas’ and the ‘micro-political’ combining my drawing and writing practices, notably through the manifesto, ‘slogornes’ and zines, developing alternative forms of distribution and self-publication.

 

Ultimately my practice is about ‘creative resistance’ : a slowly but surely way of defying the everyday through a creative act (much like Penelope did and undid her weaving to give her time to think). For me this takes the form of “(with)drawing”: retreating from the pattens of ordinary life as an oblique form of subversion, practising obsession as a route to freedom, and striving to make, live and think otherwise through a radically engaged practice.