02 February 2016

Drawing Tuesday - Wellcome Collection

Some of us were in the Reading Room, some in the Tibet exhibition, and some elsewhere.

Fresh from "3D drawing" the previous evening, I drew the forms of these bottles
 with the loopy "3D drawing" technique we'd been using ... but not with nice smeary charcoal: with ivory black watersoluble colour pencil. Using a brushpen on the bottles turned them into lumpy, bumpy things, rather than smooth glass -
Also in the Alchemy section of the Reading Room was this artwork -
John Newling,"Token Hammers", 2002
 It plays on the idea, says the label, of hammering out coins from slugs of metal, thus achieving the alchemical dream: transforming a base metal into something of value.

It's possible these were shown in Newling's 2003 exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Currency and Belief. I will try to track down a library copy of the book of the show.

The hammers are in a mirrored box, lit from a ceiling spotlight, which throws shadows both onto the mirrored floor of the box and - magically by reflection? - onto its ceiling, which would otherwise be dark -
 The hammers have two heads, for the two sides of the coins -
This time I used charcoal and again made the wrong choice - finer lines were needed -
Never mind, it's about discovering through looking. Love those lathe-turned ash handles.

The faint lines on the right-hand page are a quick drawing of two lions from the facsimile of the Ripley Scroll that was laid out on the table. 
The description of the scroll on the British Library website writes out the text that I couldn't quite decipher: " and a further inscription ('Heere is the Somme the evch is called the mouth of the Collorick').- a burst of flame and on either side a lion salient before a wall, and two scrolls ('The mouth of the Collorick beware' and 'Heare is the last of the red stone and the beginning to put away the dead the elixir vita')."
My faint lines were laid down very quickly, starting at the end of the tail of the red "lion salient" and progressing to the tail of the other, miraculously fitting into the space available. Quite possibly it helped to be drawing at a 90 degree angle - the scroll was laid along the table, and I was sitting on one side, with the book turned and the drawing appearing "sideways". The furry bits were awkward to do (must practise) - and I couldn't figure out what the "wig" in the middle was - it's a flame, of course.

Watercolour added later (must practise)

We had lunch under the canopy of lights of changing colours in the cafe, so the photos of the work may be tinged with purple or red, or in shadow - cafe lighting can be a challenge!

Joyce tackled the straightjacket, with its folds and shadows -
 When you lift it off its hook on the way, there's a notice telling how to put it on, suggesting that another person should assist, and warning about possible emotional effects.

Janet B couldn't resist the chair (and filled many other pages as well) -
 Among Mike's closer views was this larger view of the gallery itself -
Sue S first drew a complex mask in the Tibet exhibition, then started with the overlapping shadows of another, finally adding the mask itself -
 Michelle found the glass sculptures of micro-organisms and focussed in on a bit of MRSA  -
From micro to macro, in Jo's drawing: the enormous sculpture, by John Isaacs, is called "I Can't Help the Way I Feel" and captures the lived experience of illness (read about it here)
 (When it was first installed in 2007, it was so big it couldn’t fit through the gallery doors, and had to be winched up through the space by the spiral staircase. "Cleverly sculpted from polystyrene and painted wax, it is so terrifyingly realistic that many visitors mistakenly believe it is a representation of a real-life person, or a very serious genetic disorder. Anything but – it represents plain and simple obesity. ...  It is a literal embodiment of obesity in a highly idealised, abstract form. It represents the feelings of those who live with and confront obesity, and how these feelings are defined in response to social ideals and expectations." (via))

Meanwhile, in the Tibet exhibition, Sue M was engaging with a peacock-feather headdress -
Coincidence of the week - both Mike and Janet were drawn to the old dentist's chair -
Wax crayons in an interesting box brought by Jo, which she's had for ages -

1 comment:

Stitchinscience said...

Terrific selection of drawings and drawing styles.