Susan Williams, drawing & sculpture
Line is the foundational element upon which the drawings are built. The lines, which create the sensitive edges between volumes, both describe the form and give the image its tension and poise. I work on a computer using Photoshop as a primary drawing tool. Different kinds of mark making hitherto found in traditional media are combined within a linear structure opening up almost unlimited potential for exploring pictorial space, manipulating and layering information and juxtaposing varying types of visual elements. Using the human form as subject matter, the optimum point of balance is sought when different modes of representation, loosely termed ‘cartoon’, ‘realistic’, ‘grotesque’ are brought into relation and synthesised. During the drawing process the image oscillates constantly between these modes until a balance is found and a particular timbre is hit.
The identity of the image only begins to reveal itself late on during this process and only after having allowed the elements to remain free, floating and suggestive for as long as necessary. The image construction therefore runs parallel with the formal spatial organising and with the seeking out of the ‘long line’ which ultimately holds all the disparate elements together. What distinguishes a poignant line from a sentimental line is critical and much of the process of image making consists of testing out these boundaries and taking risks with them. The title of a drawing always comes at the end and is allowed to be defining in some cases or, in others, allusive or playfully private.
The sculpture is complementary to the drawing and follows an equivalent collageing process in terms of being improvised and not preconceived. Elements, often including recycled cast sections from previous work, are loosely tacked together and turned around in space until they strike a meaningful note which I recognize as having potential. This rough sketch is then cast into plaster and worked into until the planes and volumes cohere into one continuous form. I am aiming now in the most recent works for more and more informality in the relationships so that the minimum of adjustments will be required to give the piece integrity (albeit precarious) without destroying the freshness of the originating sketch.
In all cases, each element which the works contain originates from things seen and drawn and, as such, invention or imagination is a matter of reconfiguring information which has been gained from a continuous process of perceptual drawing which provides a ‘visual stock from which to feed.
“I must begin, not with hypotheses, but with specific instances, no matter how minute”…..Paul Klee.