Life Drawing : charcoal studies, constructed objects, and photographs that draw on Medieval tapestries, industrial diagrams, wunderkammers, natural history collections, and maps to explore the multiple meanings of Drawing and Life, by Marinelle Basson.
“Life draws : squiggles, paw-prints, and traces – imprints of brachiopod shells from hundreds of millions of years ago in the mudstone of our garden. Less fixed are the flight-lines of insects and birds; harder to spot are the underground drawings of worms, roots, and billions of microscopic creatures. Life is everywhere, even in the darkest underwater. How it wriggles, squeezes out of tight spots, returns after disasters and thrives, or hangs by the thinnest of threads… fragile threads so easily cut: species lost, links severed.
We draw too : tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors drew with charcoal and ochre on rocks and in caves. Humans have drawn with enormous stone structures, and tiny shell beads, with feet leaving footprints and tracks like wallabies do. We continue to mark the world as we cut and build, dig and dredge. We remove mountain tops, re-route waterways, change everything… our marks getting bigger and bolder.
For me, drawing is mark-making and conversation, listening and responding with charcoal on paper, or tearing, scrumpling, wrapping, pinning. It’s a way of getting to know intimately, distilling the essence of something; a way to explore edges: animate|inanimate, animal-self|human-self. I draw upon life which has drawn me, which still draws me: not just the lines on my hands, but my whole way of being in the world, and what I cherish the most.”
– Marinelle Basson