‘Space is the product of interrelations; thus we must recognise space as constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the global to the intimately tiny. Space is the sphere of the possibility of the existence of multiplicity; Space is always under construction; it is always in the process of being made. It is never finished; never closed.’ (Doreen Massey 2005)
The exhibition, for space, brings together a group of artists who emphasise and consider the exploration and excavation of space through various approaches to drawing. For each individual artist, drawing is processed through encountering, researching, and engaging with architecture and objects in the physical and virtual realms. Their works address the textural, sensory, and durational nature of psychological space, as well as the historical recording of plotted space. The exhibition also reflects on the social geographer, Doreen Massey’s seminal publication for space (2005), in relation to changing our perceptions of space and the importance of space as ‘the dimension of things being, existing at the same time: of simultaneity.’ (Massey 2005)
Tom Baskeyfield’s piece Ifan and Owen references Kate Roberts novel Feet in Chains (1936). Ifan has worked the quarry since he was a boy, a life closely connected to and affected by stone. These new works consider the relationship between the slate quarries of North West Wales and the remains of the industrial landscape in Manchester. Anna Barriball’s work Night Window has been created by placing paper on textured glass and covered in black ink and then bathing the paper in a solution of water and ink. This process, which she sees as akin to developing photographs with chemicals, leaves behind a strangely photographic trace of the original patterned glass.
Jack Brown has chosen a number of houses from his hometown in Stockport to draw. Once a drawing of someone’s house is finished it is delivered to them anonymously. Layla Curtis’ drawings are part of a larger on-going series of Index Drawings whereby the artist disregards all of the graphic information contained within a map, using only roads to delineate form. Named after the indexes from which they are taken, these stripped-back maps are still surprisingly navigable, with the bare patches on the page that are formed by the absence of street names in parks, woodland, rivers, providing as many clues to their whereabouts as the street names themselves. Gerry Davies’ drawings for the exhibition are the result of trips to caves, passages, and chambers in North Yorkshire. His interests lie in how the human body experiences these environments and how drawing might account for and communicate the many types of sensory knowledge we might gather.
Hondartza Fraga’s presents a life-size drawing of a section of Mars. Though we are accustomed to the vastness of the Martian desert landscapes, Hondartza was fascinated by these microscopic images, which made Mars somehow seem manageable and more real. These small spherules on the Martian surface are near Fram Crater, visited by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover in 2004 and photographed by the microscopic imager on Opportunity's robotic arm. Jenny Steele's screen print is a restoration of the demolished copper engraved doors of the 1930s Midland Hotel, Morecambe. Jenny Steele has explored correspondence designs and drawings of the hotel by the architect, Oliver Hill in the RIBA archive, London, and she is currently creating a body of work that revives aspects of the features, which have been destroyed or lost during the buildings life.
James Steventon’s piece 13 Hours with Weighted Vest (BST) prioritises drawing as a verb, an action, over drawing as a noun. The result of the private performance is a glimpse of an endurance experience, without which there is no drawing (noun). In his attempt to limit the spatial expanse of the drawing and without compromising the enduring length of the drawing, this activity took place by drawing each breath whilst wearing a weighted vest. Simon Woolham has an expanded drawing practice and sees his work as a ‘self-initiated residency of the mind’. His concept of creating a physical, virtual and psychological artistic residency, mixing live and digital platforms, encourages narrative associated with a multitude of spaces, and times. His artwork School (accessible as a downloadable App) is an interactive piece that grew out of a drawing from narrative of his secondary school in Wythenshawe, South Manchester.
This exhibition advocates the importance of space, that space is a process ever changing and never final, that we recognise space as, Doreen Massey suggests, ‘always under construction.’ for space presents an exploration and engagement with space as being integral to the process of making.