Situating experimental drawing practice within architectural and environmental contexts
This six-week project is the second artistic and curatorial residency in the Modern Art Projects / Kiosk Studios 3x6 series, and has been specifically designed to support contemporary artists living and working in the Blue Mountains, and Western Sydney. It has offered an exciting opportunity for local emerging artists, and artist-curators to develop their curatorial skills in a stimulating and supportive environment, and allowed the creation of a series of challenging exhibitions in this unique location.
An initiative of Modern Art Projects Blue Mountains, this residency has followed an experimental approach to contemporary drawing practice, taking as a starting point the history, architecture and landscape of the Katoomba Falls Kiosk site. Located adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park, the building is a rare example of a Federation-era kiosk, one of only four surviving buildings in the area.
THE EXPANDED FIELD
The ‘expanded field’, in this instance, refers to the idea of investigating one discipline (drawing), through the lens of another. The term was devised in 1946 by American artist Robert Morris, and originally referred to three-dimensional practices that stretched beyond the ‘white cube’ gallery framework.
This project has provided the artists with the space and time to extend, or make departures from their usual practice, engaging in activity that challenges, blends, reframes and expands conventional drawing disciplines and methodologies, both within and outside of the Kiosk context. The artists’ diverse approaches span traditional drawing, printmaking, three-dimensional design, ceramics, still and moving images, environmental and performative works, cross-disciplinary, and multidisciplinary modes of practice.
While working within, around, and on the surface of the architectural space of the Kiosk, the artists have also considered it’s wider context, using or repurposing materials found in, on, or near the site to produce drawings that reference it’s unique qualities and history. They have explored time-based responses to location, immersion in landscape, worked with the architectural forms within the Kiosk, and created interactive spaces within the various rooms.
They have defined, or redefined, drawing for themselves based on their chosen context, and personal focus. Many of the works in the exhibition, and also documented here, are exploratory in nature, reflecting the importance of creative experimentation and engagement with materials, processes, sites and ideas.
Through this project, the act of drawing has been broadly redefined as being a universal human activity with inherent value, without the need for a finished outcome. Celebrated in this way, in its raw form, we can all find ways to connect with drawing as a potent and primal way of engaging with, understanding, recording, and reframing our world.
We hope this exhibition offers an expansive demonstration of what drawing can be, and encourages the viewer to reconsider drawing in a way that is personally meaningful, free of expectation, judgement or conventionally accepted norms.
Artist/Curator Kiosk 3x6 Project #2