All online, still not able to open

Line of Thought

about drawing

Niamh Clarke, Rachel Macmanus

Ends 20 March 2021

This project will present various approaches of current drawing practice accompanied by free and open workshops into different aspect of drawing: life drawing classes, outdoor, still life, gestural/free drawing... At this stage it is not clear, if this project and the workshops will be open to the public due to the Covid-19 restrictions. However, we will physically install it and present this project online, if a visit is impossible. Workshops would then be offered via Zoom.

Documentation [14min] of the installed project, but unfortunately we can't open it to the public, due to the current Covid regulations.

This project as well as the following one,Terra Infirma, highlights the value and directness of the medium of drawing which is/ was used by many during the lockdown as an accessible, basic tool of visual expression.

Niamh Clarke: Conkers (2019). Graphite on Paper

About the artists

Niamh Clarke is a recent graduate of Fine Art from Ulster University. Her practice is predominantly drawing, but also includes written prose, watercolours and video which she often combines in her work. Her drawing practice reflects an interest in memory and temporality. Exploring the relationship between photography and drawing, a focus is placed on the embodied presence of gesture and materialisation through re-description of found and personal photographs.

Niamh Clarke- Virginia Woolf - the dark, the dark. Graphite on paper

Niamh Clarke writes about her work

'What makes an image memorable, what connects you to it? a memory? a familiarity? something uncanny you cannot place? an emotion? Through my drawing practice and the embodied and labour-intensive process of redrawing, reimagining the image onto the page, the temporal essence of the photograph and in turn the drawing merge. Through the selection and redrawing of these found or personal images, there is an interplay in the looking, the moment recorded and now a moment recalled, the emotion and physical action of drawing. Time becomes displaced, tens of years conflate into one moment. As with Proust’s madeleine, through the sensory action of drawing and the embodied presence of gesture and materialisation this now becomes a lived experience, living in the moment of the making and these memories are contained in the drawing, However the act of viewing further layers this relationship of drawing and memory, as the narrative changes again through another’s eyes.

This body of work deals with time, the recording of what could be described as Proustian moments in a diary format has informed the selection of imagery used. Living and working during this moment of uncertainty and pause has allowed for reflection and observation which has been conducive to my focused and contemplative drawing practice. Influenced by Virginia Woolf’s phenomenological and embodied prose and conflation of nature and the human condition, landscape and natural form is dominant. The stream of consciousness narrative threads through the work in the format of text, super 8 video, text and drawing, although I would describe these as expanded forms of drawing.'

Text: Niamh Clarke

Installation view

Installation view

Rachel Macmanus is a visual artist based in Co Clare, Ireland. Her practice has two intertwined areas of focus- drawing and performance art. Her drawing practice focuses at present on community-based site specific work, depicting the human form and exploratory mark making.
Her performative practice addresses themes around endurance, repetition and physicality. Recent works apply a methodology of using physical action as a form of relief from anxiety and stress. ‘Each side of my practice informs the other- both are a form of escapism and both can be a superior, to my mind, way to express a point of view”
Rachel has a BA in Visual Communications from NCAD Dublin and an MA in Fine Art from OCA, UK.

In her blog post from 21.02.2021 she writes about her preparation for the project:
'I am going to make a new brown paper scroll piece for the Line of Thought show. After thinking about it. I am going to base it on now- my life now, and what I am seeing around me right now. I am particularly influenced by the distorted faces of my kids -they keep taking photos of themselves on the iPad and as my phone is linked to the iPad I am constantly confronted by strange surreal collections of images they have taken. I tried drawing some of these today- see below....thinking about again what is around me. The hedgerows have all been fairly brutally shorn around here, and I am interested in the shapes and forms revealed within. I am going to try combining the hedge grow forms with the distorted faces and some details of drawings and writings from my kids. Like an homage to this particular time, homeschooling, being constantly together all the time at home, and what that’s like, for me, (stressful) and for them (also stressful). Hedge grows are what I see around me when I get out for a walk. The Kids represent my life inside the house. But I feel like the distorted faces are a glimpse into how they view the world, which is interesting to me. Spatially the faces will look better if not all positioned fully on the scroll. Also important is the visual sequence, as the scroll serves as a narrative.'
Text: Rachel Macmanus

Rachel Macmanus- 'The days roll by', paper scroll

Rachel Macmanus- 'The days roll by', paper scroll, detail

Rachel Macmanus- 'The days roll by', paper scroll, detail

To view her blog, see here

Rachel Macmanus- Panic Buying, drawing