This time I picked on drawings which are stylistically related – they are all monochromatic and all involve the use of heavy black lines. These days I usually build dark shadows by a million strokes of a finer pen but the thick black lines have a language all to themselves – at least this is what I’d like to think.
The first drawing is called Destructive Force No.1 and I am fairly sure it is the end result of a series of idle doodling. I have said elsewhere that I consider doodling a great way to exercise and unwind the mind and yes, the hand too. I still believe that.
The second drawing is Consolation dating from 1983. This was a theme I returned to more than once then. The origins of the image owe a lot to Edvard Munch and the Appiani grave at Genoa – famously featured on Joy Division’s Closer album cover.
I actually exhibited a version of this drawing the first time I exhibited publicly. The exhibition was cheekily named Wirja Bla Isem (Untitled Exhibition) and was held in 1985 by what was at the time a group of close knit friends embarking on their baptism of fire in the local, miniscule art scene. Some of us in that group have labored on… Lawrence Buttigieg is now a well known portraitist…Ray Azzopardi is a brilliant wood sculptor…Lawrence Attard carries on the tradition of fine stone carving in churches and homes…Tony Briffa still produces exquisite ceramics in his studio in Denmark.
The next drawing is called Okapi even if it looks more like a giraffe to me. I guess I liked the word okapi better. It’s also probably the least morose drawing in this lot!
The morosity quickly returns in the next drawing – The Watchers. The idea may have been of people in hiding or afraid of the outer world beyond their self-imposed confines – but I can only hazard a guess here. It was intended as a first sketch for a finished drawing which never materialized.
Next drawing is Monument Y – I don’t know why it’s called that but again the origin is likely doodling with architecture in mind.
Last is the Old Clown. Clowns are nearly always depicted as somewhat sad figures in pictorial art and I guess I tend to think so too. This old, sagging clown fits the stereotype nicely.