Some time ago I did two drawings/studies of two sculptures. One was peaceful, Endimion endormi by Antonio Canova(1752-1822). The other disturbing; a doll by Hans Bellmer(1932-1975). I wanted to see if and how my drawing changed depending on how I felt about the subject. I used my whole body whilst drawing, that's why they are so big. The paper was first covered entirely with charcoal then I used an eraser to "carve out" the light. The white of the drawing is the white of the paper. A technique I often use; drawing in reverse.
A study of Antonio Canova's (1757-1822) Endimion endormi.
Charcoal on paper, 71 x 95cm.
A study of a doll by Hans Bellmer(1902-1975).
Charcoal on paper, 89 x 62cm.
The Bellmer drawing has coarser strokes. The Canova is softer and the light more refined. One drawing is hanging in my bedroom, the other is rolled up and stored in a cupboard. No prizes for guessing which one is hanging on the wall. Both of the drawings were done with the subject turned 90 degrees. The Canova sculpture is a horizontally sleeping figure. The Bellmer doll is leaning against a wall vertically.
This piece is from my favourite magazine, World of Interiors. It was part of the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936 in London. Hans Bellmer exhibited in this exhibition too. The poor little seahorse looks so vulnerable in that position. It looks better when vertical and swimming around.
Eileen Agar, Untitled, 1935.
Marine scientist here in Sydney are researching ways of boosting seahorse numbers in the harbour. Seahorses, bred in captivity, were released into Manly Cove a couple of days ago. This animal is weird and wonderful because the female seahorse deposits her eggs into the male seahorse's pouch and after gestation he gives birth to about a hundred baby seahorses. How cool is that!
The world is wondrous and filled with the weird and wonderful.
I love when the boundaries between the real and the fantastic are blurred. When unexpected juxtapositions take me by surprise.