It has been some time since I have posted – I have been engrossed in my drawing practice. There is, of course, much influence from the remarkable artist Nasreen Mohamedi – my drawing has become much more laborious and exacting and hopefully more rigorous. I am using a large architectural drawing board that I dug up from the old days – working on 30in x 40in (75 cm x 105 cm) watercolor paper with gouache and India Inks and graphite. The size of my photographs and drawings is larger than most of Mohamedi’s work – it just feels like the right scale for me.
I am surrounded by the mostly black and white images of Mughal architecture that I took in Delhi. I am abstracting these architectural images further in the drawings. I think in many ways these drawings (and photographs) relate to my earlier work in installation and sculpture – it is like I am “constructing” these drawings/these spaces. The scale of the photographs and drawings is large enough that they create a physical relationship with my body as well.
I am using a palette of ink and gouache that is related to my experience of India both literally and symbolically – blue for air and water, browns and reds for the earth and the stone, deep black for space and spirit. I have to draw mostly in silence and during the early part of the day or I screw up the drawings. I just ruined one that I have been working on for a week. It is best if I meditate first. Sometimes I listen to Indian ragas, the rhythm helps me focus. Nasreen listened to Indian classical music as well. Anyway I am compelled and I feel a relationship to this drawing practice that is something I have been yearning for.
I am thinking I will have an informal exhibit in June in my studio of the “work in progress.” I will let you locals know when. Then later in the summer I will start research for my upcoming project and residency at the Obras Foundation in Portugal in September with Portuguese artist Helena Almeida as my guide. However I have a strong feeling that this work with Nasreen in the studio will be an ongoing and evolving part of my practice.
Also, if you are new to my blog, you can go up to the 3 bars at the top of the blog and go to the archive section to look at previous posts. I started this blog in October of 2014 to document my project and residency in India titled “Nasreen and I in Delhi” and my larger ongoing project with other remarkable women artists of the 20th century. You can “follow” me and you can also make comments if you like :-).