Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One-eyed monsters

This is two versions of the same drawing. The theme was monumentality and it needed to include a change of scale. I chose the squirt bottle of shower cleaner because I thought I'd be able to turn it into a scary one-eyed monster. I didn't really want to include other objects in order to show its monumental scale. I thought I'd be able to show it by a careful choice of perspective and by the expression in its 'eye'. But as I drew, and gazed more intently into its real 'eye', I found it looked more and more like a chook or a turkey. Then its expression changed to one of foreboding and fear. The drawing began to make me think of Christmas Eve and the inevitable chop for the turkey. I could no longer help myself. I drew in the looming shadow of someone reaching for its neck! I hoped the drawing would show monumentality by inference, that the world and everything in it could be seen in the viewers minds eye as huge, the way the turkey-squirt would see it.

But no, it didn't work. And the drawing did need to show monumentality. So I left it for a week while I decided how to resurect it. My only solution was to add something or someone to show the scale, to increase the angle of view on its head so that it looked like it was looking down, and to make that one eye look mean again. I looked at the work of William Kentridge who often gives the effect of scale and monumentality in subtle ways. I looked in particular at a drawing inwhich the male subject (I believe it is a self-portrait of sorts) and his cat are alone in a monumental space; the words "HER ABSENCE FILLED THE WORLD' are written above them. I thought this was almost the exact opposite of what I was trying to show in my one-eyed monster drawing - her (the monster) presence filled the world! So I included Kentridge and his cat, tiny and in the foreground, to provide the necessary scale. I'm not sure if I like the second incarnation of this image better than the first, but I do like it, which is more than I thought I would when I started out to change it.

And I'll be quiet for a few days (digitally not acutally) because I'm off to Sydney to see my daughters, friends and some art. Sounds good doesn't it!


janey said...

I agree, the first one look sort of turkyish(sp?). And the 2nd is very monumental and threatening. I just watched Orson Well's Touch of Evil. It's in b&w and that's the feeling you get here.

E-J said...

Your blog is full of inspiring experimentation and ideas - I am bookmarking you right now, Jan!