I’ve been given a small solo show at Millennium St Ives. I’m not going to be able to get down there to see it but the Millennium gallery will make a video tour of the show and so I’ll get to take a virtual walk around the show once they’ve posted that on their website (here’s a link to the gallery site: http://www.millenniumgallery.co.uk/traces/royeastland.htm ).
The show is called ‘Traces’ and it consists of three small solo shows of artists’ drawings. The other artists are: Sax Impey and Peter Randall-Page. It continues until the 25th November.
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My work in this show consists of eleven drawings. Eight of these are portrait drawings and three of them could be described as landscape drawings.
The ‘landscape’ drawings are small, no bigger than postcards, and are about Arromanches, Normandy, in 1944. More specifically they are about my memories of my dad’s memories of being in Normandy in 1944. Their starting point is a small collection of postcards and tiny photographs of the town which were brought back as souvenirs. As is typical of a lot of my work, these pieces come about through repeated re-drawing. They are about memory located in a particular place.
The portraits (and their hand-written blocks of text) are done in silverpoint on gesso. The starting point for these portraits are photo booth images of my mum taken in the 1980s and the 1990s. The work is about presence. I think, perhaps, all of my artwork is about presence. Photo booth images record moments spent alone with ourselves. The old photo booths used to give you a set of four pictures and you would use the least-bad ones. Sometimes they capture moments when the automatic flash photograph was miss-timed. Such images sometimes reveal facial expressions that are much more interesting than the properly posed ones. This is the case with the images I’ve used as reference for these drawings. I could go into great detail about each of these drawings but I would rather leave the viewers to make up their own minds about them.
I showed four of these in a Drawing show at LIMBO, Substation, in Margate and it was interesting to listen to what others made of them. Unfortunately, I’m not going to have the time or the money to get down to St Ives to chat to people about them. Photographic reproductions don’t give you the half of what is really present in these drawings (I’ve yet to find a way to photograph silverpoint drawings) and so I hope people get to see these for real and to spend some time with them. I’m very excited about them being on show at Millennium St Ives.