I finally installed a few of the text drawings from my 2012 Memory Festival installation at home.
There’s something quite different about showing something publicly within an exhibition, compared to living with it at home. I tend to feel kindlier and and less critical of the work I live with.
As the drawings become more and more familiar they are less fraught with anxiety. I’m not about to change or revise them, so my sense of responsibility diminishes and they are left to be exactly what they are. They function best in the here and now of everyday life.
After a long absence from my studio I struggle to find a way back into my practice by handling the work I produced before the hiatus. I organize and rearrange my drawings as a way to remind myself what I do and how I do it.
Selecting and installing these three drawings within a faculty show at Emily Carr University, has helped guide me back to the process of making.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has inspired countless plays, films, tv programs, plays, video games, cartoons, comics, toys and related works. This monster is one of the most persistent horror icons within popular culture.
At the very moment that Victor Frankenstein succeeds in bringing his creation to life he turns away from it in horror. All else that follows in the story can be seen as a result of this abandonment.
Perhaps our fascination with Frankenstein’s monster represents a willingness to take responsibility for this wretched creature, or at least recognize and engage with it. Our humanity is tested when we encounter monsters––they remind us of our responsibility towards our most fearful selves.
A number of years ago I drew a series of darkened faces in relation to a death within my family.
A new series uses a similar working method to respond to images of Boris Karloff as the monster, within James Whale’s Frankenstein films from the 1930s. Karloff’s iconic representation has come to stand for the very idea of a monster.
Dark creature (series), brush and Ink on rice paper, approx. 8 x 6″
Once again I return to drawing multiple faces on rice paper with brush and ink.
The differences between the repeating faces, the anomalies from one to the next, are what is important to me. The practice of drawing a single face over and over again expands the field of interpretation and moves the individual face (in this case, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s creature) away from the idea of singularity (and portraiture) towards a consideration of the image as an archetype or symbol.