The immateriality of memory

I have been reading about and looking at the work of a German/Venezuelan artist Gego, (Gertrude Goldschmidt, 1912-1994) in a catalogue of an exhibition, ‘Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible’ at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2005. Essentially a sculptor investigating space and light, Gego also drew. She made very beautiful wire drawings which, when reflected onto the wall behind them created a second set of drawings which are unattainable, ephemeral and ungraspable. It was the quality of transparency which she wanted to capture and they have a poignancy born of their fragility. For me they are evocative of memory which does not exist materially. Truly great drawing has a quality which is impossible to pin down; these drawings are impossible to pin down because in essence they do not exist.

In the studio I made another drawing based on the Cill Rialaig Wall study in my sketchbook and then started to extract tiny marks and series of marks that were on those walls, isolating and enlarging them. The tiny world of Cill Rialaig was the whole world to the people who lived there at the time of Sean O’Conaill, as big as the whole world is today to 21st century well-traveled individuals. These drawings are also about reflection and memory. I enter my own head space whilst I am making them so that only I and the drawings exist and I am oblivious to my surroundings. Memories sometimes become huge, the event remembered, taking on a significance in retrospect that it didn’t have at the time.

Memory Suite 1

A suite of ten small drawings moving across the surface of Cill Rialaig Walls and extracting marks and movements.

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