Definitions of Drawing

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Definitions of Drawing

25th September to 14th November
Curated by Courtney Spencer, Definitions of Drawing is an exhibition bringing together the work of fifteen artists who interrogate the medium of drawing through their practices.

Drawing sounds simple enough to define. After all, it is something most of us did as a child, where we could proudly present our latest creation and proclaim with confidence that it was indeed a drawing. However, as we move beyond the crayon scribbles on scrap paper, a definition feels more elusive.

When working with more traditional materials such as graphite, charcoal, or pastel on paper, these feel like an obvious development to our childhood drawings. But what if we go beyond dry mediums? What if we venture into ink or paint, or further still with earth, vegetation, thread, light, negative space, or anything else you can think of? Is that still drawing?

Perhaps it is not the materials that make a drawing. Some may think of drawing as lines and/or shading on a surface used to depict subject matter that could be figurative or abstract. Does this mean a drawing cannot occupy a three-dimensional space, float in mid-air, be burnt into our retinas, or exist in cyberspace?

Maybe we could think about it as a process whereby we use our hands to make marks. This is of course something we know humans have been doing for tens of thousands of years. But what if we were to remove the hand and instead use digital technology or drawing machines?

Rather than define drawing, this exhibition presents examples of works that explore a wide range of contemporary drawing processes. The artists utilise an array of methods and materials from the very traditional graphite and gold point, through to sculpture and installation. Drawing is central to each artist’s practice. Sometimes the drawing is the final artwork, whilst in other cases drawing is part of the preliminary study for the final work. In each case, they are communicating using a visual language.


Gallery Opening Times

Tuesday-Saturday 10-4pm, Sunday 12-4pm, always closed on a Monday.

The exhibition is part of the Big Draw festival. Details coming soon for adult and children’s workshops and an artist’s panel discussion.


The artists

Drawing Artist in Residence: Si Smith

Throughout Definitions of Drawing (25th Sept-14th Nov), Si Smith will be drawing artist in residence! He’ll be in the Gallery every Wednesday sketching. Feel free to come and chat to him, or bring a sketchbook and spend some time drawing too.

Si Smith is a Leicester-born illustrator and artist who has lived and worked in Leeds since 2004. He makes prints and creates comics; curates and teaches; and his practice is built upon a strong foundation of observational drawing. Si is currently working on a 200-page graphic novel for a big american publisher.

He regularly posts his drawings up online here – and you can find him on instagram @curmudgeonly_si

Events and Workshops

The exhibition is part of the Big Draw festival. Check out the workshops and events below!