Archives for category: mark making

I am currently exhibiting a mix of new and remixed/re-activated old work in a solo exhibition in Platform Arts’ new home in Connswater Shopping Centre, Belfast. The exhibition had been postponed several times due to Platform losing their old space and successive lockdowns during the pandemic. Under current restrictions, we cannot welcome people in to the gallery but shoppers are very welcome to observe through the windows. This is the press release:

Rule Driven

Platform Arts presents Rule Driven by John Macormac. The exhibition is the latest manifestation of an ongoing exploration of sonic and visual pattern, informed by mathematics, geometry and the natural world. Each component enacts a set of carefully formulated, self-determined rules, influenced greatly by instructions for works written by Sol LeWitt.

Densely worked drawings of repeated forms echo those present in nature gathering inspiration from wide ranging sources, from the hexagonal structures of beehives to the lattice formations of atoms in crystals. In providing Instructions for drawing for the audience to take and make themselves, the heroic artist myth is interrupted and the artist/audience hierarchy is challenged.  Visual rhythm is augmented and amplified by layers of percussive sounds and field recordings that have been digitally processed. The imposing sculpture takes influence from science fiction, particularly the mysterious monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a three dimensional distillation of a sustained period engaging with geometric forms. 

The show will feature a specially composed collaborative performance with Doctor Robin Price that includes a drum kit prepared with contact microphones triggering synthesised sounds and images that are manipulated in real time.

John Macormac is a recipient of a Support for the Individual Artist Programme award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

928 11 sided irregular shapes

Back once again on the kitchen table. The repetitive act of making these seems more important than the finished/abandoned piece.

White pencil on black recycled card.

A1

Original drawing

Mixed media on black recycled card, A1

Star chart 8

Digital manipulation:

Star chart 8 remix

I’ve been continuing this series of drawings that started in March as the Covid-19 lockdown began in Belfast. The process harks back to an earlier method of working, where marks are added and erased until a precarious, fragile balance is achieved. Lately I’ve felt the process becoming repetitive, the early excitement burning out. Digital manipulation or ‘remixing’ of the work presents a new avenue of possible development, extremely intricate and unexpected new configurations are possible. These may suggest organic growth, the infinite complexity inherent in nature from the structure of cells to galaxies. The next step may be to attempt to replicate these through drawing, or acquiring a plotter and learning how to program it to draw.

Star Chart Series VII

Mixed media on black recycled card

A1

Continually trying to add depth and intensity to these drawings. Composing with forms, densely worked areas need sparsity. There is a constant play of revisions; ghostly marks remain, distant remnants.

Detail:

Star Chart Series VII detail

Accumulated II

Accumulated’ second version. Many offset layers are added in the hope of achieving a solid, almost sculptural feel.

White pencil on black recycled card
A1

Detail of centre:

Accumulated II detail

iii

I’m continuing this lockdown series, accumulating shapes in ordered and chaotic formations.

A0

Mixed media on black recycled card.

Detail:

detail of burst

night sky crop

I’m continuing to draw from our flat in these weird locked down days. Two upcoming shows have been postponed indefinitely. The act of drawing is respite from thought; labour intensive activity to become lost in. This drawing has a star chart/night sky feel, employing several techniques. It’s currently composed of four A1 sheets of black card and feels like I could keep adding further sheets to it until our entire living space is consumed.

Detail I

star chart detail 2

Detail II

star chart detail 3

In September last year I was asked to create a wall drawing in the Vault Artist Studios members room. I drew this piece, a Fibunacci sequence inspired, planet like layering of regular circles in chalk. The chalk had not been sprayed with fixative, over the weeks and months parts of the drawing had been smudged and worn away as people’s presence marked the passage of time. This became a slow visual metaphor for the studio members’ transient presence in this former technical college.

Vault hosted an excellent Fringe festival on the first and second of June this year, comprising over 100 events and projects happening in the building and the car park. In preparation for this, the exterior of the building and the members room underwent a vibrant redecoration. The first drawing was covered up.

I drew a new site specific piece in a different part of the room using wax crayon:

drawing-memberss-room.jpg

The deep indigo background marks a break with monochrome. This drawing plays with imperfect symmetrical forms, incorporating influences from many sources including early arcade game vector graphics, sacred geometry and heavy metal logo typography.

Detail:

61896739_297276504559170_5070427768756371456_n

Here in the finished room, the drawing is surprisingly augmented with a rack holding pool cues.

61836822_659027414545329_5021341085746593792_n

draw tri 11

This A1 gel pen drawing combines harsh angular forms with curved ones. It was shown at ‘In Orbit,’ the Catalyst Arts gallery members show that ran from the 18th of April to the 9th of May.

 

 

Here I broke with recent tradition and drew onto a large sheet of paper. Felt tip pens allow a more precise, clear line than chalk. Looking close, the drawing is full of human error and inaccuracy. This makes it feel somehow alive, less rigid and perfect than a digitally rendered image.

The paper used is 274 x 290 cm. I want to work as large as possible. Please get in touch if you have a spare gable wall or expanse of concrete you’d like me to draw on..

drawing edit 2

The drawing in my space in Cathedral Studios:

drawing cropper

Detail of the centre

drawing detail

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