DRAWINGS & PERFORMANCE
I’ve drawn all my life. For pleasure. For cheap and lasting therapy. For me. However, my very first blog ~ way back in 2005 ~ was to share my drawings. Which were well-received enough to be reassuring? flattering? nice? But, I’ve since realised that I’ve never drawn or made art for an audience. It’s always just for me.
However, my partner Penny Sharp is a Fine Artist (trained as a Printmaker and Animator at GSA) and she’s encouraged my participation in the contemporary art scene. I’ve been lucky enough to show my work here and there ~ and most of all it’s fun.
For more of what I’ve done, check out my C.V. but I’ll tell you about one project that I’ve found to be especially effective and affecting.
The Drawing Devil was a combination of performance art and drawing, which makes it sound quite lofty, but it’s initial impetus was light relief for Glasgow’s alternative Art Fair, Vault in 2011 (being a deliberate antidote to art scene piety). I dressed up as The Devil and charged people £6.66 for a deliberately unflattering portrait rendered in cheap felt pens (the tool of the devil). I’ve since done this again at GOMA in 2018.
I had a lot of fun and people really enjoyed being insulted solidly for as long as it took The Devil to draw them a wretched portrait. One unexpected side-effect of this project was the intense experience of really looking at somebody’s face for 15 minutes. Really looking. And I came to a stark conclusion which was surprisingly emotional: everyone is beautiful. Everyone. And especially when they’re young. Young people don’t even have to try. Even when you’re hardcore bogging and a thousand percent mingin’ ~ youth sprinkles allure over your pudgy cheeks like fairy dust. Goddammit! Young people! You’re beautiful!
I now draw mainly for myself (which nobody sees, well, apart from Penny, very occasionally) and I like to draw my own slides, when I do public talks on the paranormal.