Look, draw, scan, invert, colour in. REPEAT.
By Jack Ashby, on 9 December 2015
This is a guest post from our artist in residence Eleanor Morgan. It is part of a series exploring the exhibition Glass Delusions at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
I have a pile of drawings and sketches of sponge specimens made during my residency at the Grant Museum, which aren’t exhibited in the Glass Delusions exhibition. Looking closely and following the lines of these animals with my eyes and hand was a way of getting to know them, particularly as I couldn’t touch them directly. They were also a way of thinking, of letting forms and ideas develop between the specimens and me.
Sometimes a drawing can be the beginning of developing something further – a painting, a performance, a sculpture. But it is also a thing in itself. John Ruskin called drawing ‘dirtying the paper delicately’. I don’t think drawing needs to be delicate – sometimes drawing can destroy the paper and itself. Perhaps it’s simply ‘dirtying the paper’ – marking something that a moment before was blank. Because of this, drawing can be a way of getting over the hump of making things.
The drawings I made at the beginning of this residency I returned to towards the end. I wanted to get them moving. I scanned them, and then on Photoshop I inverted them and filled in areas with colours that match those of sponges around the British Isles – bright pinks, greens, yellows and blues. I might transform them in the future to something tangible, but at the moment these images exist only digitally, online and on my computer. For me, they continue the feeling of drawing – immediacy and freedom in the way that marks can be made and erased.
Glass Delusions is an exhibition at the Grant Museum of Zoology, it is the end result of a year-long residency by artist Eleanor Morgan. It is open until 19th December 2015.
Eleanor Morgan is Artist in Residence at the Grant Museum of Zoology, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.