Put me in Coach!
Indianapolis' fairly new Wake Press & Gallery recently closed It's A Thought, a combination solo and collaborative drawing project executed entirely in Wake's space. The exhibition was born from five days of collaborative drawing by current or former Herron School of Art and Design artists Sydney Webb, Michael Nannery, Marx Shoemaker and Adam Wollenberg. The result is an exercise in exploring and pushing the boundaries of drawing, a medium often overlooked in the fine art world. In this case it is hard not to pay attention; how do four artists mold a collaborative work through such an intensive process and still leave their individual "mark?" Done entirely in grey scale, the lack of colors draws attention to the artists' working methods, usually abstract content, and varied line structure and shading. Materials used for the work in this show include spray paint, latex paint, graphite, charcoal and even plaster. Four unique artists have come together and managed to make a cohesive offering through their solo works and the epic collaboration piece that takes up nearly an entire wall. "Even our individual drawings have an aspect of collaboration to them because we've done all the work right here in the gallery and while we're working we're just going around talking to each other about each other's drawings," explains Michael Nannery. Below are individual artist statements, images of the artists at work, images of the finished artwork, and a video of the artists during the creation of the artwork.
As a primary part of my art making I look at repetitive motion and cyclical growth in nature as the relating factors in all of my contexts, urban, rural and spiritual life. Drawing becomes a part of this as meditative practice. When I begin to draw, it is instinctual, finding forms from my surroundings and representing them as I see them. With this in mind, shapes morph into other shapes and forms become only valuable in representing the state of flux.
Native forms from instinctive form
At what point does a drawing aided by a photo reference cease to be a coherent thought? Through imitation of a two-dimensional image, the artwork at hand wavers closely to the point of being a mere representation rather than an extraction of artistic insight. A photo reference has the potential to curb the artist’s vision instead of manifesting possibilities. This is not to say that photo references are useless; they have ability to aid the artist in decision-making and analysis. In a sense, the source imagery may serve as a guide and collaborator for the actualization of the drawing. Ideally, a photograph should inform the drawing, not vice versa.
I am less interested in replication than I am in vast descriptions. Complete with all the inconsistencies that arise when filtering information, this drawing is an attempt to describe the way an object inhabits space. What appeals to me are images that use lights and darks as language to explain depth and forms. I used a great abundance of this language in order to create shifts and movement.
Your thoughts can sometimes be perfect and direct but other times can be just a haze. This piece is based in symbolism and metaphors, as a reflection of my perception on drawing as a medium. Translating your thoughts to paper whether be through any medium can reflect and say so much subconsciously. Each individual stroke has a life of its own and influences the next mark while at the same time being completely forgotten about and left alone.
Sliver Your Eyes
Thanks to the artists for the images of the finished work