Part 4: Project 3 – Installation

Aim: Many artists use installative drawings and what these artists are doing positions the viewer or audience member in a totally different way to someone viewing a work on the wall contained within a frame. Using the link below, look at the work curated for On Line, an exhibition of contemporary drawing held in Edinburgh in 2010. Look particularly at the section entitled ‘line extension’ which discusses the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Ellsworth Kelly, Karel Malich, Edward Krasinski and Pierrette Bloch:

Graffiti artists are often very inventive in the way they position their works to give an extra layer of meaning or power.

Method: Make a drawing that relates to its environment in a way that creates an interesting dynamic between the artwork and the space around it. Think about ways that drawings could take part in a kind of dialogue with the space they inhabit. Text might be one way, or a drawn object in partnership with its real world equivalent. A drawing of flowers might be positioned behind a vase. A drawing might be used to ‘join up’ the view between two windows. You might be interested to find out more about trompe l’oeil or even anamorphosis – seen in Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors but also seen on football pitches and in the street art of artists like Kurt Wenner and Edgar Mueller.

Edward Krasinski used line to extend his drawings into their environment, and used the drawn line to engage the participant in the space in a certain way. The effect is to draw the whole room, and everyone in it, into the artwork.

Reflection: Use the links below to find out more about Pierrette Bloch. Why is she described as using ‘poor materials’ and what do you think her materials lend to her subject matter?

To what extent would you say that this piece by Louise Bourgeois is a drawing? Make notes in your leaning log.


Looking at the On Line exhibition held in Edinburgh in 2010-11 (Available at: [Accessed: 4 September 2018], I was interested in the breaking down of the galleries into themes: Surface Tension, Line Extensionand Confluence of Line and Plane. Moving from the investigation of form and space, through the extension of line beyond the flatness of the drawing surface into social space, to landscape and graffiti art.

In the context of this project, I was particularly interested in learning about Edward Krasinski’s investigations into the relationship that can develop between objects, the space in which they exist and how they become to be perceived by the viewer.

The pavement and street art of Kurt Wenner and Edgar Mueller provide an intriguing insight into manipulating space by means of optical illusion. Their often fantastical depictions of what appear to be three-dimensional events or happenings are remarkable in enticing the eye to believe the reality of what is seen.

The distorted human skull in the foreground of Holbein’s The Ambassadors is seen as an early example of a distorted image that can in fact be seen in its true shape by viewing it in an unconventional manner from the right of the picture plane.


Continuing with the theme of exploring my immediate environment for this project, one morning I came across a scene of disorderly conduct in the garden – a scattering of bits and pieces of bark, pieces of wood and an acorn. The culprits – a resident brood of black birds that enjoy nothing better than picking through and chucking about this garden debris on a daily basis searching out grubs, insects and worms.

Garden debris – context photograph [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

I decided to use this random scattering as inspiration for the installation. For the drawing itself I used an old window from the house, left over following a complete window replacement last year. I had intended to fit this piece of 84x88cm double glazed panel into the back north facing wall of the studio, but as yet have not got round to doing this.

Having lifted an amount of the bits of natural debris from the garden I laid them out and glued them in an approximate pattern on top of the glass and continued to paint on similar shapes and colours using acrylic paint.

Deciding to place the culprit right into the picture (well, a representative) I placed a cut-out image of a black bird on the underside of the glass:

Glass drawing photographed against a white background [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

After painting over the image of the black bird in acrylics onto the drawn surface of the glass, it was then taken back out to the garden to display it against the garden setting to test out the visual effect:

In-situ [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

Moving the installation to try it out against a different background it was placed on the side decking of the house:

On the side deck [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

Back on the grass at the front of the house, the image taken showed the green backdrop with bits of additional tree root and fallen branches in their natural setting seen through the drawn glass installation:

In-situ 2 [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

The image without the boundaries of the glass panel looks like this:

Without the glass frame [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

The effect of viewing the composition through the drawn glass panel provides an interesting three-dimensional effect to the black bird in centre stage. Because there is a black bird image pasted on the back of the panel and an over-painting of the bird on the front-facing panel there is a slight double-image that, while giving some slight depth to the bird also spookily shows a second yellow eye:

Double vision [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]

Taken from a slightly lower angle, the final image provides an almost realistic portrayal of the black bird, with grubs in beak, strolling nonchalantly amongst the garden chaos it has created in its search for food:

Strutting my stuff [click on image to enlarge in new browser tab]


Pierrette Bloch began her artistic career painting in oils, moving on to work with collages, black ink on paper or chipboard and horse-hair sculptural drawings. In a press release for VernissageTV Art TV to a retrospective of her work at the Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris in 2011, we find mention of the description of her use of ‘poor materials and reduced motifs’. (Available at:

From looking at a range of her work it is apparent that her fascination with dots and lines is a key driver in her mark making. Her work is often fragile and minimalist in the materials used, if not in scale.

As Thomas Micchelli notes in his review for the Brooklynrail online arts magazine (Available at:, of the Haim Chanin Fine Arts Exhibition held in 2009, Bloch’s use of very particular kinds of material (‘poor materials’)in her art-making can create a tension for the viewer arising from “… an ink membrane drying on a fibrous surface, or a horsehair pulled taut. Its thingness is both its sum and its reduction.”

In other words, ‘what you see, is what you see’– make of it what you will. For me, the beauty of the strung-out and at times tangled horsehair pieces add a different dimension to my understanding of drawing. Equally, the use of ink dots and lines on paper and Isorel board challenge my perception of what a drawing is. Bloch’s 2008 Encre sur Isorel (no, 525) [Ink on Isorel board] reminds me of the kind of random mark-making found in Robert Rauschenberg’s 1953 Automobile Tire Print.

Louise Bourgeois’s 1995 mixed media Spider installation is one of a series of drawings and installations she made during her career. The installation spiders filled the space in which they were placed, the space itself becoming a form of picture plane that the viewer could walk around and even under (if brave enough). A drawing that in every sense encompasses the viewer.

Reflecting on my own work on this project in relation to other artists, my main observation is that the visual plane for any drawing or painting can be just about anything. It doesn’t need to be confined by dimension or by boundaries. This is quite a liberating discovery and opens up a new realm of possible ways in which to make marks and explore the relationships between space, form and line.

Bibliography: [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 1 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 4 September 2018] [Accessed: 14 September 2018] [Accessed: 14 September 2018]


Stuart Brownlee – 512319
15 September 2018



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