Archive reference: DC1/3
Central to the practice of Artist Archivist is drawing. In order to gain an understanding on any professional reports, processing of records or engaging with new creative concepts. Artist Archivist’s preference is to visualise thoughts and plan the operations through drawing. The drawings featured in these files concern the repository space at the University of Glasgow Archives & Special Collections. Initially, the art records function was to start something. Similar to a brainstorm. Constructed using oil pastels, the drawings were purposefully created so Artist Archivist could establish and progress creative research projects. Over the next several years, the drawings came to be their own creative project and consistently used for marketing, publications, promotions and widely shared via social media. Within the information management profession, these drawings have proven the most popular content from the Artist Archivist Archive.
On a personal level, I absolutely hate creating these drawings. The process is extremely long, boring, methodical mark making is required, it is time consuming. Individually they risk becoming ‘pretty’, an artwork that speaks nothing about context. The first artist who ever had an impact on me was David Hockney. His artwork was why I entered art college in the first place. In 2012, I visited A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy. It was an incredible exhibition, in particular for the iPad drawings. David printed out the drawings, exhibited them on the walls alongside the actual technology. Questions emerged, such as where is the original art? Is there such as thing as an original digital artwork? Western society values the authentic unique art object - but are now faced with multiple originals.
In the c1980s, David transformed the perspective of the camera. Most of us take one photograph of a building. That is a timeless spilt second moment. However David took hundreds of photos of the same scene. Capturing the discreet changes in weather, individuals movements, playing with perspective. I use the same method with these drawings, each oil pastel drawing is built to be photo realistic, working from observational sketches, all drawings are the same scale. When combined questions emerge about originality, original order, do the drawings provide historic or valuable information? These are key archival themes emerging. Additionally, when combined together, these drawings created large scale murals that highlight just how large archive repositories are and the many hidden types of records that are held.