migrations is an ongoing series of charcoal and graphite drawings derived from four cell phone photographs of shadows. These studies of pure light are a record of my exploration of the compositional and observational possibilities encountered while peering into this narrowly defined set of boundaries.
This work was born in 2015 during a residency where I was surrounded by the shadows cast from overhead onto the pink walkways and buildings of al maqam, near Marrakech, Morocco. What began as a technical exercise and was intended as a temporary diversion from my regular practice has shifted the way I think about the images I make and is now my sole focus in the studio. For more than thirty years I’ve worked exclusively from life, but when I began to draw the migrating shadows in my usual way, I was quickly confronted with the futility of trying to pin down a thing that is constantly moving and changing. The attempt to arrest the shadow in a drawing led me to work for the first time from photographs, which in turn made me curious about what I might find in a subject that is inherently two dimensional and static. The task of translating this digital information into the extra-analog language of drawing requires one to slow down the act of looking and leaves behind an account of time spent observing closely and repetitively. From a point of view that is out of focus and removed from clear context these drawings are driven by the lure of ambiguity, by an impulse to understand the incomprehensible and describe what can’t be put into words. They are a statement about the value of a search for that which can’t be found.
migration 22 DETAIL, 2020, carbon pencil, 4x4"
migration 24 DETAIL, 2021, carbon pencil, 4x4"
migration 24 DETAIL, 2020, carbon pencil, 4x4"
migration 25 DETAIL, 2021, carbon pencil, 4x4"
migration 28 DETAIL, 2021, carbon pencil, 4x4"
migration 29 DETAIL, 2021, carbon pencil, 4x4"