“If the dust of drawing is alive, it is both because of its entanglement with language… and its ability to elicit something less easy to articulate in words, something that happens in the blind spots of representation.”David Musgrave, Living Dust.
The project started with observing St. George’s square and what it consisted of; the building, the people, the terrain, the animals. Which with prompting took the turn that people generally don’t vocalise; the pigeons, people don’t think on them long enough to form any other opinion that the socially understood “rats with wings”, they sub consciously avoid them in the streets. Those who think otherwise have been stereotyped as mad, dirty and usually old women who sit feeding them alone. So I decide to study the birds movements in the square, following their trails, sketching their twitches: at first it was to find a common ground of correlating information between humans and pigeons, which was when I found the project “Decadent Pigeons” by Lisa Klappe and Joachim Van Denhurk, which provided those shared attributes in photographic form. So I started to think about the drawing side of the project instead; mixing and testing media and form, charcoal originally to test the different shapes and blurring motions of birds in flight, then ink to appropriately bleed the tones in capturing the change in tones as they move.
It was then I realised that the typical use of ‘drawing’ is rather flat, and as my previous project consisted of finding uses for textiles in blind art, I noticed a non-sighted person wouldn’t know the shape or tone of a pigeon, particularly one in flight. This then led to the realisation of the query “What would a drawing look like to someone who can’t see it?”After testing some attempts at hand-made 3d ‘Braille’, with a glue gun, paper until an artist named Motoi Yamamato, who makes his creations from self-made patterns of salt crystals; that I used modelling grass powder, a coarser version of flocking powder.
The delicate and man-made patterns caused me to try my own; firstly with ink, my themed media at the time, to produce drawings of a pigeon in flight, over 4 sheets of A2 sheets. I had a few problems with it as the white space that I wanted to keep pure, had drops of ink smudged, fingerprints and creases dotted around in it, although the general opinion was that a little human error was to be appreciated. It was then I found artist Roy Nachum and his exhibition “Blind”, a series of images made from photo-realistic oil paintings, covered with barely visible Braille. There is one particular piece called “Salt-Water-Fire” which is completely white with a frame made from charcoal; by touching the frame to see it, then reading the painting smears the original frame with fingerprints of everyone who sees it. This made me appreciate the idea of ‘purposeful’ errors, particular ones I could involve the viewers with through touch.
It was then recommended that I try to layer my two processes together: Leaving me with mapping out an image that was both visual (in varying ink tones) and tactile (the powder). I included the original four pages of dots in larger ‘dots’ making their frames from charcoal, and using the powder to provide a reference: connecting the edge of the paper and the drawing itself.