exploring themes of human body and expression
Personally, my drawings are a study of how the human body in motion can create emotionally charged imagery. I am interested in poses that alike figurative sculptures, are evocative of psychological disposition. A shape and pose of human body can convey a whole array of experiences. In order to investigate that I have collaborated with many contemporary dancers, who are experts in this field. This concluded in a series of artworks and exhibitions in the years 2012–2015.
TechniqueDigital and Traditional Pencil Drawing
Subjectfigure drawing, portrait, realistic depiction
Exploring Dance in Illustration
Following up from the theme of my Master’s Theme, my fascination with dance originates from my interest in the human body as an art form and I am especially intrigued in its behaviour whilst in motion. With movement comes the concept of the ‘fugitive’ and subsequently an artistic need to develop a way to capture this, or at least an impression of the feeling it evokes and conveys. Dance, like music, is a fleeting form of art unless recorded. I find my challenge is to immortalise its essence within a new medium. In this way, through a more permanent representation, I can enable one to contemplate singular frames that usually gets lost in the flux of dance. Dance as a subject is particularly appealing to me because its performance generates the utmost uplifting experience, not only for the dancer but also for the one who observes them dancing. Furthermore, as a metaphor it represents the struggle to conquer the limitations of one’s body, striving to develop full control over it. Often a body of a dancer is akin to that of an athlete; owing to the fact that dance requires enormous discipline, training, strength and motivation. Once rigorously mastered, their bodies allow the dancers to express themselves in the most unique and uninhibited forms.
I’ve collaborated with individual dancers, groups, students working alongside them in a dance studio taking snaps of their performance to later on analyse and use photographs are reference material.
Selection of Exhibitions
After the success of MA show in Shanghai (click here to read more) my last main exhibition took place in September 2014 and was called “Pandora’s Box”. This was hosted and commissioned by Union 105 | East Street Arts. I’ve continued to develop a new technique of joining digital linear outline with traditional pencil drawing which resulted in mixed media drawings. Inspired by two Greek mythological motifs ; ‘Pandora’s Box’ and ‘The Fates’, this exhibition expanded on a dance installation performance by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and a collaboration with a video artist Blessing Oyebanji. It encourages one to reflect on human nature and its influence on people’s lives.
Later on that year, I was invited to join TurnAround Dance Theatre in their residency at Yorkshire Dance. They were developing a new piece called “Mirrored Minds”, in which they explored how we use mirror neurons to learn, recognise and empathise with one another. In response, in January 2015, I produced a series of 4 drawings that were exhibited in The Dukes gallery in Lancaster. These were 30cm by 40cm mixed media pieces that combined digital linear outline with traditional pencil drawing.
In 2015, I created last large drawing inspired by contemporary dance. That year I was invited to participate in a series of three pop-up exhibitions in Manchester, each on one of the Fridays the 13ths in 2015. These exhibitions were inspired by the notions of luck, chance, fate and coincidence. I took an opportunity to draw further inspiration from Greek Mythology to explore the motif of Rota Fortunae (Wheel of Fortune). It is a concept representative of the capricious nature of fate and luck and of how within our personal narratives we habitually represent time as a cycle between prosperity and disaster. For the purpose of this exhibition I introduced a new technique which blends a graphite monotype with traditional pencil drawing. These drawings have been produced in collaboration with the dancers Louis Lever and Joe Thomas.
2013 — previous years
Previously, In 2013 my artwork was shortlisted for the New Lights exhibition, a bi-annual competition showcasing the best young contemporary artists in the north of England. And in September the New Lights exhibition had its private opening at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate. At this event my illustrations were awarded the TIG Prize (The Inter Group) for most outstanding representational work. The Exhibition then moved on to The Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle for the duration of January 2014.
In 2013, I was invited to collaborate with an Inclusive Youth Dance Company called Me2 on a project later entitled “Pedal Power” which was a part of series celebrating art and cycling in Leeds. The project involved documenting workshops run by Janice Keith with Me2, which set out to invent creative dance work around the theme of cycling. This concluded in a series of digital illustrations portraying the young dancers involved. These were compiled and published in an A5 booklet.
Earlier on I continued to work with Joanne Pirrie and Crystal Zillwood producing pencil drawings developing my craft.