Archives for posts with tag: drawing

In August I collaborated with Platform Arts, Urban Scale Interventions and Connswater shopping centre to co-facilitate a large-scale community drawing workshop on the roof of the centre’s multi-storey car park with the theme ‘every grain of sand’ referencing how each individual person is unique and has a valuable contribution to make. The drawing was part of ‘Rooftop Summer Recess,’ part of the Eastside Arts Festival 2021 in Belfast.

There was a great response from participants of all ages who used the cardboard stencils of shells and abstract shapes I had made as a starting point or added their own imaginative contributions. The experience makes me want to do more community art, feels that it was successful in encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to join in.

Co-facilitator Meadhbh McIlgorm (left) from Platform and participants adding to the drawing.
Local artist
Many chalks were used over the weekend
Drawing in progress
Nearing completion

Platform enlisted the talents of photographer Simon Mills to document the exhibition. Here are a selection of his excellent images. In my experience good documentation is always important, this sense was heightened for ‘Rule Driven’ because Covid restrictions meant the public were not permitted to enter the gallery space, only catch fleeting glimpses from Connswater shopping mall windows.

drawing in process
drawings, drum kit, sculpture and projected video
Me at work
A still from iterations of a shape video
Drawing near completion
drawing detail

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

Shown as part of Rule Driven at Platform Arts, this video piece comprises photographs of a shape as it repeats in rows, one shape at a time. The audio component comprises layered percussive sounds and field recordings that include radio static and a washing machine fed through multiple effects. As new layers are added new sounds can be heard. When the drawing reaches the fullest point the process reverses until the wall is left blank once more.

The ordered repetition makes visible the process of drawing that follows a set of pre-determined rules, a framework for operation.

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

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.

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2112 10 sided shapes

First drawing of 2021, back at our kitchen table.

Attempting to heighten a machine drawn feel, hundreds of tiny human mistakes are always present.

White pencil on black recycled card.

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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

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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

Star Chart Series V

Star Chart Series Drawing V

Mixed media on black recycled card

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I’m moving between composed drawings and ones where a pre-determined process determines the outcome. This style is composed; working on it felt like the way I used to approach paintings and collages, where each part would effect the whole and many revisions take place before a fragile balance is achieved.

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
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Detail of centre:

Accumulated II detail

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