Graduation was an experience I wouldn’t have missed. So many people I didn’t know all dressed smartly, lots of smiling faces, and the whole event in such a lovely setting as the University of Hull chose to have the ceremony at the Spa in Scarborough, right on the sea front. The weather was bright and sunny, and the sight of the old town arranged around the harbour in the background made such an effective back drop for all the photographs. I don’t have a photo of myself in a cap and gown to show you, you’ll be relieved to hear.
Instead, I can show you one of the small drawings I’ve just had accepted for a travelling exhibition by the fine art gallery Duckett and Jeffreys. They’ve had the unusual idea of asking for works on paper that measure 12cms x 12cms, the exact size to fit inside a cd case.
This drawing is made with pen and acrylic ink on Fabriano hot pressed 300gms.
I began by preparing the sheet of Fabriano with washes and dribbles of acrylic ink, and then when the paper was dry, I chose six areas and marked them off to measure 12cms squares. Then I worked in a detailed way in each area to make a separate drawing. I’m trying to develop a real cartographic feel to my drawings, although they remain abstract. In this way I’m hoping to project travelling through landscape as a way of talking visually about issues of time, and travelling through time, which movement necessarily involves.
People are asking me what I will do now that the degree course is over. Perhaps what they don’t realise is that having a degree in fine art is just the starting point for an artist. Completing the degree gives you the tools to start making the work you now know that you want to make. That may sound a little strange, but you’d be surprised how long it takes you to discover what it is that really motivates you to make art. So I’m involved with a couple of exhibitions at the moment, and looking forward to making new work at the Crescent Arts venue in an old auction house in the town over the month of August. I’m particularly looking forward to that as I will be responding to the building with drawing and painting as a place of other worlds . . . but I’ll tell you about that another time.