From Andrew Frost…
Drawing – like its second cousin painting – is in perpetual need of reinvention. For a practice so central to the making of art – and so prone to being valorised and propagandised by conservatives and radicals alike – its status is often unequal to its visibility, left and out and overlooked by galleries for the fools gold of new media or for the safety of what can get sold. Happily, the practice of drawing gets taken back to its basics, refreshed and reinvigorated by the complexity of the simple line.
Michelle Cawthorn has explored the way drawing can evoke volume and shape in a series of works that evoke the patterns and weft of fabrics, revelling in the associations of memory found in old clothes, blankets and tablecloths. Cawthorn’s elegant drawings reveal an acute awareness of her method, that when you reduce clutter and noise on the page the method is revealed for all to see. And it’s in that revelation that the artist’s skill is most apparent – when you reduce things down to just pattern, colour and shape, there’s nowhere to hide.
Until May 3
Sheffer Gallery, Darlington
Pic: Michelle Cawthorn, Troubadour [detail], 2014. Pen, graphite, watercolour and gouache on hahnemuhle paper, 108x79cms.