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Draw a Line Somewhere

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Two-sided soft drawing. Red felt, black quilting, yellow cotton. Approx. 3000mm x 3600mm x 10mm (h x w x d)

Draw a Line Somewhere celebrates the mundane reality of an everyperson: softness, fluidity, brightness, darkness, strength and frailty compressed into one being. In this work I merge drawing with soft sculpture techniques to create a soft-drawing. The form hints at three-dimensionality yet retains characteristics of drawing – a flat surface as a ground and line created through cutting and stitching. Though it appears gestural it is the result of meticulous labour.


Crafted from red felt and black quilting, materials evocative of childhood blankets and padded raincoats, this work is stitched together by hand with tennis-ball-yellow cotton (a homage to my late father who was a keen tennis player). This process took approximately 200 hours.

In the idiom, from which the work takes its title, I’ve substituted ‘the’ with ‘a’ to render it open-ended rather than absolute. The subject of the work is a 1:1 drawing of a large shadow cast on the wall of my studio by a sculpture I was dismantling. At the time I made the drawing I was thinking about how to keep something (someone) with you after it’s physical presence is gone.


I made this work during the final semester of my BFA. At the beginning of the semester my father was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I decided I wanted to create something huge but portable, that would take months to complete. The time during my father’s illness oscillated between medical emergencies and periods of stillness and sleeping. I often stayed at my parents’ house, stitching whilst sitting with my dad. He passed away two weeks after I’d exhibited the piece at my degree show.

This work was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Student Art Prize and shown in York St Mary's in 2014. 

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