On the HOME page of this website I wrote that my research at Spike Island would "develop through studio-based experiments that engage with the expanded field of drawing, moving beyond the pencil and the page towards towards three-dimensional and four-dimensional reinterpretations of the point of contact between drawing instrument and support."
I thought it would be helpful to show you what I mean — or at least what I've meant by this up to now, with the residency project not yet begun. Opposite are some photographs from what the point is : the end of the line, my recent solo exhibition at SE8 Gallery in London (September - October 2015). These sculptural assemblages, videos and drawings developed as a chain of material analogies for the point of contact with the page, each piece attempting to re-figure that point of contact in such a way that new (phenomenological?) insights might be derived into the act of representation. The press release text goes into more detail:
what the point is : the end of the line is an essay in sculptural form, composed of drawing, video and assembled objects. This new body of work develops a chain of analogies between the tip of the pen/cil, the first person singular, the line of sight and the I-beam cursor. It asks: how is the object answered by its representation, and how is the subject consoled by it?
“On my studio floor at the moment are glass and plastic funnels, some five foot glass tubes and some tubes of rolled up A4, two projectors and two desk fans, lengths of string drawing-pinned taut, some torn-off sides of cardboard boxes with circular holes cut into them, some mechanically, some by hand.”
The exhibition derives from Norwood’s ongoing examination of the point of contact between pencil and page during the act of drawing, and by analogy the act of writing. Set against the historical dominance of the retina in graphical work, she conceives this point of contact as a fulcrum that bridges and holds apart two somewhat symmetrical environments: the configuration of marks on the support, and the space containing the support—home to drawing implement, hand, eye, the support itself and perhaps some object of representation. The diverse possibilities of rapport between these two environments are explored in what the point is : the end of the line.
Developed gropingly and by process of unchecked analogy, the works begin as material parallels for the point of contact between pencil and page. As the assemblages take shape they begin to follow their own material logic, creating digressions that extend and thicken the analogical chain. What emerges is a network of associations between the tip of the pencil and the the groping tip of the finger, the blind or myopic eye, the first person narrative voice, the beat of the I-beam cursor, the focussed beam of light. Conceived as a fulcrum between subject and object, the groping eye of the implement emerges as a point of physical leverage between subject and object, or between subject and itself: a beat of self-assertion against the passing of time marked out on the white of the page.
The exhibition is accompanied by an artist book, an online record of collected writing, and a programme of screening and discussion events.
Photographs Peter Kidd, copyright the artist and SE8 Gallery