Rosalind Hayes considers two video works in the Jerwood Drawing Prize, ahead of Marie von Heyl’s talk about her practice at Plymouth Arts Centre on 26 Feb at 6pm (free).
Marie von Heyl Interior (Utopia)
The enduring quality of drawing is given a new perspective through the video works of Neville Gabie and Marie von Heyl. Neither strive to create a representational image as an end product. In fact, both these works deviate from the page into the realms of performance art and, though they each have different methods and outcomes, both Gabie and von Heyl reveal the process of drawing. Von Heyl takes an extreme distance from the page, using her body to create shape and line to produce purely ephemeral forms.
Neville Gabie, Experiments in Black and White vii
Gabie more recognisably employs the traditional modes of drawing though he expands the surface to the wall and – because of the crumbling chalk dust – to the floor, to his clothes and his own skin. Both works draw attention to an essential quality of drawing: the toil and struggle with the material, the considered choices involved in crafting an image and the overall expenditure of effort. It reminds us that art is not just a set passive representation but a product of a sequence of decisions which may have been sketched in hundreds of versions before the one in front of you. These videos enforce the knowledge that each drawing condenses time, place and personality into a seemingly innocuous trail of ink on paper.
Rosalind Hayes runs the art journal The Grid