The graphite landscape drawings are made with graphite sticks and the hard, plastic eraser used as a mark-making tool; there will be very little of the surface that has not been heavily covered with graphite and worked back with the eraser. This extends the tonal range and expressive possibilities of the graphite—there is a big difference between a mark made heavily and rubbed back and a mark made lightly.
The drawing process involves repeatedly making and then disrupting the drawing with the eraser or with sharp tools, used to gouge the paper surface. These scratched and gouged marks are sometimes structural and serve to develop and extend the mark-making, and are sometimes random and are merely part of the disruption. Where the surface has become very heavily abraded I may patch new paper over it.
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A series of large and small drawings made on paper with a range of drawing media.
A series of large drawings featuring six of the village churches of South Holderness.
It has long fascinated me that small villages can have churches of substantial construction and of considerable antiquity. It is a solid reflection of the importance and prosperity of agriculture when farming the land was everything and more than fifty percent of the adult male population was employed on the land. These old churches somehow embody this history and I felt it was right that parts of these drawings were obscured, as are the lives of the people who once invested so much—either through devotion or fear—in such places.
These drawings are large—approximately 1.5 metres square—and were produced using the same process of drawing and disruption; the disruption here was done with gesso, diluted and applied with a roller.
The drawings were exhibited at The Great North Art Show, Ripon, in 2016 and at The Ropewalk, Barton-on-Humber, 2017.
Operation Sealion was the code-name for Hitler’s planned invasion of Great Britain. During 1940–41 one of the biggest civil defence programmes ever undertaken created a network of large and small defences that included such basic measures such as barbed-wire entanglements on beaches as well as other more permanent measures—so permanent that they are still in existence almost eighty yeas later. Many are now listed historical structures. These drawings feature some of the pillboxes and bunkers in the East Yorkshire area.