Drawing on Space

Installation photograph of Drawing on Space at fa projects, Londonmiddle:: Oliver Zwink, Square, 2002 foreground: Russell Crotty, Badlands Radio, 2002 background: Russell Crotty, NGC 6960 The Veil Nebula in Cygnus, 2000 Photo:



The Drawing on Space book presents the work of thirteen artists of different generations from around the world, all of who use drawing to articulate spatial concepts, ranging from the physically constructed space we inhabit to the psychological dimensions of an inner world. Artists included in the book are: Russell Crotty (USA), Katja Davar (UK), Graham Gussin (UK), Alan Johnston (UK), Takehito Koganezawa (Japan), Julie Mehretu (Ethiopia / USA), Nasreen Mohamedi (India), Max Neuhaus (USA), Paul Noble (UK), Silke Schatz (Germany), Tomoko Takahashi (Japan / UK), Bjarni Thórarinsson (Iceland) and Oliver Zwink (Germany). Archival work by artists associated with Fluxus and the Situationist International provide an historical context. To purchase the book go to Publications.

The accompanying exhibition Drawing on Space, conceived as an extension of the book, focused on the sculptural capacity of drawing. The exhibition presented work in a range of media by Russell Crotty, Takehito Koganezawa and Silke Schatz with new commissions by Graham Gussin, Alan Johnston and Oliver Zwink.

Beyond the exhibition space, artist and curator Amy Plant (UK) investigated the use of drawing in everyday life through Drawn. Amy Plant made contact with more than seventy individuals and groups in the area around the exhibition venue to reveal how drawings are made and used in everyday life. Drawings were collected from schools, market-stall holders, tourist centres, shops, artists, architects, plumbers, residents, charitable organisations, dentists and cultural venues. A selection of drawings were published in a fold-out leaflet which was distributed at fa projects and the contributing venues including Tate Modern, local shops, the Globe Theatre, local cafes and tourist centres. To order a copy of Drawn go to Publications.

Drawing on Space was funded by London Arts and the Henry Moore Foundation.


Russell Crotty (USA) presented two large globes (61cm and 91cm in diameter) the surfaces of which are covered with the artist's pen drawings of planetary movements and star clusters. These drawings are the result of hours spent observing the sky through a telescope, the lush and emotive nature of these recordings and the addition of text serving to bring outer space closer to earth.

Graham Gussin (UK) extended his preoccupation with exploring time and space for this commissioned projection. Graham Gussin created a contemporary version of George Romero's horror movie 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968). Dark Light Piece is 90 minutes duration and transcribes the luminosity levels of the film, using a light-wave meter. The celluloid, the stuff of the film itself, has been unravelled to create a beautiful yet eerie landscape drawing and make visible those 'in between' spaces, the subliminal elements of the original film.

Alan Johnston (UK) created a site-specific wall drawing which was conceived in response to the shapes of the surrounding walls and spaces. It took the form of short, irregular repetitive pencil marks, closely interwoven to form a rectangular shape which had the effect of heightening our awareness of the architecture and surroundings of the gallery space.

Takehito Koganezawa (Japan) presented coloured pencil drawings and a video piece which contain humorous and surreal juxtapositions and suggest the tangential explorations of the psyche. Concurrently, Koganezawa was artist in residence at fa projects.

Silke Schatz (Germany) creates almost life-size drawings which explore personal spaces she has lived in and interiors which are politically charged. The drawing included depicts the interior of a TV station in Berlin, the location of a discussion panel relating to September 11th. Schatz uses architectural drawing devices to investigate the interplay between buildings and the actions of people within them, focussing on spaces of personal memory and political history.

Oliver Zwink (Germany) maps the geographical landscape of the city and its architecture. For this commission he painstakingly constructed maquettes of buildings, creating an imaginary landscape using paper and card, which he then sprayed with monochromatic inks, causing the architecture to partially collapse and reshape itself. His clumsy paper townscapes, dripping in water and dye, are poems to the failure of urban planners.