Sarah Cullen “The City as Written by the City” 2005-2007

squiggly drawing

The City as Written by the City, Nov 2 2007, Walk to see Trudi and her new pin, Banff Centre – Banff Hospital

abstract drawing

The City as Written by the City, Out and about Florence with Muma, May 21, 2005


“Sarah Cullen’s recent works have resulted from collaborative activities with geographers and other artists. In the past, she has created alternative methods of mapping space using low-tech machines and devices of her own invention.

Cullen has, for example, created a ‘drawing box’ consisting of a pencil pendulum that is able to record her movement in space in equivalent strokes of graphite on paper when carried around on a walk. The resulting drawings are almost anti-maps, in the sense that they cannot offer objectivity or legibility. Instead, her artworks bear indexical traces of her presence and motion.

What we lose in immediacy, we gain something in a sense of the weight and measure of movement – of the particular gait and pace of an individual’s walking style. Each of us moves through space with a highly particular and identifiable walk: it is a marker of the way we have learnt to occupy the world. Cullen asks us to re-imagine how we can document the ways in which we have ‘become ourselves’, in motion rather than at rest.”

Photos from constructing the boxes and doing workshops