Andy Black


I have drawings of around a hundred forms collected together in a small blue book. Some of these forms are objects from the landscape - trees, bushes, rocks, mountains, lakes. Others are sharp-edged and geometric or more amorphous and blobby. Others are reminiscent of topiary or architecture. All the forms are real in that they obey gravity and are rooted to the ground. These forms (to steal Philip Guston's idea) are my alphabet. Also in this book are drawings that have a different function. They are diagrams of how to organize the pictures (plot, island, field, glade, parterre and quincunx) - the syntax of my open-ended series of drawings. There are other constants too: the paper is white and I use a black brush pen than provides an economical mark. The forms are plotted onto perspectival grid so that we have an aerial viewpoint over a territory that recedes deep into the distance. A strong evening light illuminates the drawing so that each form casts a long dark shadow. In the studio, with these set constraints and door shut to other variables, I construct drawings of imagined exterior spaces. I think of them as drawings of gardens. Some are systematically planned with formal, abstract patterns. Others are allowed to become overgrown where the forms, like weeds, multiply and compete for space. In making the drawings the forms' contrasts of shape, tone, texture and ambiguity of scale demand my attention. Once completed, I can look down to survey a whole constructed world. I imagine being down on the ground exploring the pockets of space and paths between the details. read full statement

Location Scarborough, Yorkshire