8 – 24 April 2010

Pippa Sanderson & Kirsty Lillico

Two artworkers wearing white protective suits enter the gallery. They set up their gear: coloured bubble mix and blowing utensils, and begin their drawing performance. Blowing bubbles at the wall, they leave indexical traces on the white surfaces of the wall and suits: making and being drawings. Their pace is determined by the breath-inspired mark-making.

The clothing worn by the artists is ambiguous. The protection is excessive for a relatively benign and childlike activity. The uniform-like forms of the garments endow the figures with an aura of authority and purpose that clashes codes with the cartoon-like felt feet. The close proximity of the figures to the surface of the wall (a condition of the drawing process) renders the performers’ bodies progressively less distinguishable from the architectural surfaces. The artists become immersed in their bubble.

In this sense the work encapsulates the relationship of contemporary drawing to process art: 1. the work is an indexical trace of an act, a gesture 2. the artist’s body is often used as a drawing implement, or surface, and 3. duration – the drawing is finished when the clock says, an artist imposed parameter that and speaks of art-making as work rather than the result of aesthetic inspiration and resolution.

Regarding aesthetic considerations: the choice of hue in the huge fluid fields of colour, while lush, is reigned in by the process parameters. Thus the individualism and authorial voice associated with modernist action art is shrugged off, while signifiers of enclosed psychological spaces, sensitized surfaces, elements of vulnerability and the fragility of Utopian ideals, are given breathing space in the process and traces of the work.

Surface straddles drawing and painting, process and performance art, enjoying and replicating the blended boundaries between the diverse disciplines.

Pippa Sanderson, 2010

This exhibition is an event of the Drawing Out Conference, an initiative of RMIT University and the University of Arts London.