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Drawing to Activate Dissent and Reparation
Online talk Tue 15 June 2021
This event brings together Drawing Biennial 2021 artists Alvaro Barrington, Jade Montserrat, Hardeep Pandhal and Lindsay Seers, in conversation with Drawing Room co-director Kate Macfarlane. Themes explored by the artists in their practices and in their drawings for Drawing Biennial 2021 include the reparative function of art, its capacity to draw attention to inequality and injustices caused by racism, ageism and sexism, art as a call for action, and the celebration of every experience as a valuable experience. In addition to drawing, the four artists work across a range of media including performance, writing, film, photography, animation, textiles and painting. Taking their contribution to the Biennial as a starting point, this conversation will tease out where drawing fits in, the important role it plays, how it intersects with other media and what drawing, or the activity of drawing, can do.
About the artists
Born 1983 Caracas, Alvaro Barrington lives and works in New York. Graduated from MFA, The Slade School of Art, London (2017); and Hunter College, New York (2013).
An unwavering commitment to community informs Barrington’s wide-ranging practice. While he considers himself primarily a painter, his artistic collaborations encompass exhibitions, performances, concerts, fashion, philanthropy, and contributions to the Notting Hill Carnival in London. His approach to painting is similarly inclusive – embracing non-traditional materials and techniques such as burlap and sewing – and infused with references to his personal and cultural history. The artist’s use of stitched yarn in paintings and postcards draws upon the traditionally gendered craft traditions passed down by the women in his family. His intimate compositions, rendered in a distinctive palette of reds, browns, yellows and greens, often focus on single subjects in closeup: tropical vegetation, abstracted portraits, and body parts.
Born 1981 London, Jade Montserrat graduated from BA History of Art at Courtauld Institute of Art (2003); and MA Drawing at Norwich University of the Arts (2010).
Dancing her way through history and her story, marking the archive and letting it mark her, finding a voice within a chorus of opinions and reflecting projections of now and then, Montserrat’s work is a fracture in the linear narrative of consumption and a rigorous critique of the way cultural production scars bodies and constructs histories.
Her work exposes the perceptions of the Other as weighted responsibility in need of retort, skirting social activism by gesturally and texturally ascertaining new ground for politicized territories manifest through performance, film, installation, sculpture, print & text. This process is focused on the interrogation of materials, rearticulating them to expose gaps in both visual and linguistic habits.
Born 1985 Birmingham, Hardeep Pandhal lives and works in Glasgow. Graduated from BA Leeds Beckett University (2007), and MFA Glasgow School of Art (2013).
Pandhal works predominantly with drawing and voice to transform feelings of disinheritance and disaffection into generative spaces that bolster interdependence and self-belief. Applying practices of associative thinking, his research-led projects exhibit syncretic strains of post-brown weirdness. Across media, his works are imbued with acerbity and playful complexity; at once confrontational and reflective.
His work is held in public and private collections including UK Arts Council Collection; British Council Collection; and Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow.
Born 1966 Mauritius, Lindsay Seers lives on the Isle of Sheppey and works in London. Graduated from BA Hons Fine Art (Sculpture and Lens Based Media departments), The Slade School of Art, UCL (1995); and MA Goldsmiths (2001).
“To experience Seers’ work is to experience snapshots, rumours, doubtful information and fascinating fragments that refuse to add up to a neat, narratively satisfying whole. To experience one’s memory of her work is something else entirely. Recall Extramission 6 on a Monday morning, and it’s a story of childhood and exile. Recall it on a Tuesday night, and it’s a meditation on Platonic optics and 19th-century methods of indexing and surveillance. Memory does its work, generating different readings, different histories, and different shapes for the viewer’s future self to adopt.” – Tom Morton (Frieze)