March 16th 18:50
Message comes in: Niall and Yeoryia are designing Ireland’s representation at the Biennale…it’s about an installation of hand-drawings…patients’ perceptions and habits….Alzheimer’s…
All very interesting. They are asking people to produce drawings. Right: Brain set to reconfiguration mode; stand-down services’ rerouting of Danfloss one-way valve conundrum.
Recalibration in process/waiting/restart and re-enter pin.
March 17th lunchtime
Camden Town/NMLA/briefing: I sit down with Niall (over a Pret ploughman’s special) and he sets the scene. Motions and movements, draw a life in the day, Artline 200 fine 0.4+trace, camera recorded…
Ravel, drafting, crescendo/diminuendo, jazz, rhythm, timbre, when can you come in. Lee Halligan – how are you?! We enter the stable, desks tethered, grey silks scribing. We’ll be back on the Sunday, en masse or for mass??
March 20th 9:47am Sunday
Pens packed (Schachihata/Artline/Pentel), grey t-shirted, preparing for the first draw. A calm, bright sunny Sunday morning, masking tape, trace, cross-hairs cannon calibrated. Focus, MF and macro. Or was it the other way round.
Pencilled outlines are carefully laid; scenery setting, tables arranged, who goes first? No after you! Strangers enter – stripey black pens I think they wore, and me in my Artline 200. Niall clambers under the timbers and emerges atop, all very priest like. Who is left-handed, elbows clashing, is the camera on? Wait, is the battery full? All calm, action. Yeoryia enters, door-handle monkery, seat backs held and table-cloths straightened. After-you, no after-you; we all 4 settle. Bread is shared, glasses raised, what are we eating? Roast Chicken legged booties war with Lobster Thermidor pincers. Nibs fence and foil as we dart about the page, babble and banter a plenty as we dessert.
March 25th (Long) Good Friday
Another holy day: what should be a day of fasting, of penance, turns into a day of fast penning. It’s spring after all, and the walled garden needs attendance. 4 gardeners set forth, fork, spade, barrow, hoe and hose. How do you drawer a sunflower? Who listens to Gardener’s Questions Time. A hive of activity as we each tend to a bed. Please turn on the hose…can I borrow your barrow…there’s a bee! Who put the apiary there! Hoops and canes, beans and marigolds, best in show surely.
Spades and pens dot and dart, rambling roses and foliage – swirl and scurry. 15 minutes is up, and cease. Time for lunch. Ambulance: what do you draft? Sirens, steering wheel, Mercedes or DAF, grab-rails, front wing, left wing, all 2H.
Camera roll, vehicle stops, and I pen my way out. The passengers are restless, ink everywhere, doors are opened and off they wonder.
March 27th Sunday
64 squares, plot your way through, Yeoryia explains ‘kitchen/tv/books and chattels’. What does a Magnolia leaf look like? Is it an elevation is it a plan? Lee keeps drawing, branch/leaf/branch/stem.
I outline the wheelchairs, stools, wooden chest, handles and jambs. I need one other to help tidy and spin some wheels. The page has slipped – stop! Re-mask, battery recharged and pens set-to.
After lunch, relax: a tree. Or 9. Is it a fir or a rowan or a birch? Not sure. Drystone, brick, craggy or free form? Spindly of bough – keep the lines controlled? Leaves and blossom fill the page, daubs of colour from Yeoryia.
April 3rd Sunday
Time for a dance, and 7D or was it 8E is taped down; aligned and focused. 2 to tango, but what is that music? The record player is whirled, ink is flying, circles of eight, 4/4 time, tip-tap dancing…
Silence. Magnolia Grandiflora. Petal sepal hands, charcoal branches, fill the page, crown atop, tree pit or exposed roots? Just keep drawing. Leaves and flowers are swept into corners, someone is singing.
More trees. Michiko goes digital, orthographic and fanlike. Canopy oversailing, oi – that’s my right to light?!
by Simon Tonks