Artist diary: Madge Gill Co-Commission, part ten

Julia Oak reveals how the intensive drawing during her time preparing for the Madge Gill co-commission has see her explore her past

More Than Maintaining Momentum.

Over the past two weeks drawing has become my priority. After I had finished the 10 meter drawing I wondered if this was even possible. However during the cold, wet, grey days of January and February I have found, that since lockdown nearly 7 weeks ago, my need to draw has become even greater.

I have completed the Drawn Record of the drawing for the exhibition, about 80 A5 images. I have also blitzed a sketchbook,  hand drawn approx 50 businesses cards and embarked on another drawing exercise of my mind.

Then there is the “Just Draw Every Day” challenge, by the time you read this there will be 100 images. These balance the work of of the “Drawn Record” as they are completely intuitive and my only plan each day at 11:30, is to stop what I am doing, even if it’s drawing, and just draw what ever the pen and paper want to share with me.

Forests or woods are often used as a metaphor for the mind. So the title of my exhibition piece “Enter These Enchanted Woods” is very apt, because drawing as intensively as I have been this year is definitely taking me into my mind, to places within that I have not visited for a long time. Memories weave themselves between fact and fiction creating new realities on the paper before me, because what emerges as I work, is my current reality that I am living in during this time of imposed isolation caused my the pandemic and having to shield.

Sometime in the future I can see myself tracing my fingers across the lines and caressing the images I am currently drawing to scry the unspoken memories I will have of this time.

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