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DATE :

The Drawing Board
Artist collective

Toronto
August 16, 2017

The Drawing Board is a newly formed collective of artist-educators JJ Lee, Amy Swartz, and Natalie Waldburger. Back to the Drawing Board, now on display at Loop Gallery, is their first public exhibition. As individual artists with 20+ year career spans, they each have exhibited extensively, have work in both public and private collections, and have been recipients of multiple grants and awards.

1. Red tape


Image from Back to the Drawing Board exhibition

Red tape symbolizes a type of bureaucratic knot that hinders decision-making and action. We are fascinated by its origins. Henry VIII bombarded Pope Clement VII with red wrapped missives about annulling his marriage. The most important documents were wrapped in red. This is the most famous use of bureaucracy besieging the system and it has been used effectively ever since, both consciously and inadvertently. As artists and educators we are tangled in a number of knots through our work. Finding the cause of these knots is always a useful investigation and a source of endless fascination. However, it can also keep us up at night!

2. Sleep

All three of us obsess about getting enough sleep. We send each other articles about how to get more, improve the quality, and maintain a regular pattern of this elusive state of mind and body. As a byproduct of contemporary society, we work a lot, switch our many hats many times, and think a lot – too much. We find ourselves awake at the same time during the night, but don’t realize it until we send out a text into the darkness. This leads to late night conversations that continue from days stretched late into the night. It is also true for us that inspiration often hits close to the 4am witching hour.

3. Mark making

Especially washing, scribbling, doodling, splattering, staining, tearing, smudging, breaking, spilling, folding, cutting, erasing, measuring, eyeballing, leveling, etc…

4. Trump



Enough said.

5. Collaboration

We use collaboration as a vehicle to bring attention to the ubiquitous medium of drawing and to address the means and methods of work and working relationships. As cross-disciplinary artists who have collaborated together as educators for many years, we have come to recognize that the drawing process is a viable contemporary medium in its own right. Drawing is a primary visual language, essential for communication and expression that does not belong to any particular generation, culture, or genre (unlike oil painting). It is immediate, accessible, and one of the most sustainable media. It is, therefore, an ideal medium to respond to all levels and contexts equally and can function, like collaboration, as a decolonization tool.

 

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