Currently I’m exploring how drawing can work within larger issues concerning landscape, geology, extraction industries and the aesthetics of the climate emergency. Site visits to open-pit mining areas and research into the effects of climate warming form the starting point for painstaking, semi-sculptural drawings often made with graphite on crumpled paper. Recently I have been undertaking field trips to the anthracite coal mines of Eastern Pennsylvania, taking these deeply damaged yet resilient landscapes as a starting point. Slumping, sometimes standing, always damaged in some way, the drawings have a physical presence inviting viewers to experience the fragility and vulnerability of the material world, towards an identification with their own bodies.
I draw with graphite on crumpled paper; normally considered a mistake and thrown away, the damage to the paper is revealed and made valuable through careful mark-making. The crumpled paper of the drawing may resemble both aging skin patterns and the lands’ erosion, inviting a further association between bodies and the earth. In contrast to the relentlessly efficient economic speed of mining enterprises, it often takes a disproportionately large amount of time to produce one of these works. It may involve drawing with a mechanical pencil around the lines in the paper so that the ridges of the creases emerge as lines. I see the undrawn part of the paper as a seam, comparable to a vein of coal or ore. Not a natural resource to be depleted, the undrawn paper instead becomes a space full of potential, reclaimed for the imagination.