Figure Drawing

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.

Technique
Digital and Traditional Pencil Drawing
Dates
2013 – 2015
Subject
fig­ure 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

2014 – 2015 

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.