Out of the Bag

Sometimes I do something in a workshop that I want to follow up straightaway. This was one of those times: a conversation between Chloe Briggs and Tania Kovats as part of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize residency by Drawing Is Free. They talked about drawing being ‘something against nothing’ and about how, when you draw, you realise what you don’t know and what you want to know.

Tania led us through an exercise that began with putting an object in a bag and drawing it with one hand while exploring it, out of sight, with the other. Then we took it out of the bag and did blind contour drawings. Next we drew it a couple of times from memory. And last we drew it while looking at it.

We did know from the start what the object was. Nonetheless, the experience of drawing it in various ways without being able to look at both the object and the drawing was illuminating. I was surprised each time by what I had managed to understand about the structure of my object – an agapanthus flower head – and what I hadn’t.

These drawings developed from that exercise, using the same agapanthus head as it slowly dried out over a few months. I chose to make my repeated drawings on top of one another, rubbing out each one before starting the next, leaving a ghost of all my attempts.

Click on any of the images for a larger view.