Headspace

 

Series of 100 Drawings

Ink, watercolour and pencil on paper

2010 – 2012

I usually begin by drawing three-dimensional things that I have seen. In doing this I soon realize that the images both enter and create my headspace. I once read that the term ‘headspace’ can refer to an old method of beer production where the master brewer checks on the quality and state of his beer production by sniffing the air above the head of the beer as it sits in the vats. In doing so he could determine whether or not the beer was ready for bottling just by smell. Of course, this kind of decisionmaking is now often relegated to electronics where specialized devices make these determinations with absolute replicable accuracy. Similarily, in the perfume industry scientists travel the world searching for substances — flowers, bark, moss etc. — whatever they encounter that emits a novel smell and that could be used in the next new perfume. Instead of removing the substance or all out harvesting it they place a large glass bulb over the targeted substance for a 24 hour period in order to collect the molecules of smell that fill its ‘headspace’. The collected molecules are then run through a spectroscope to determine exact quantities and a chemical recipe for the substance is revealed. I think that my drawing practice has similarities to both these endeavours. My drawings develop and are resolved instinctually but there is also an element of searching for something that interests me three-dimensionally and a subsequent breaking down of constituent elements to arrive at a new creative solution. This is very much a back and forth process and the drawings that emerge after a period of time are both imaginary and real.

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