Category Archives: Drawing

Reg Carremans, Pathscape (2012)

Reg Carremans (1981-) is a Brussels-based visual artist mapping the self and the environment through different media, to encourage critical introspection, (self-)awareness and reflective thought. Interested in humans as geographical beings (walking, landscape, environment, place, territory, cartography), and the artist and artistic processes (identity, basic actions, economy).

“Pathscape is a canvas walk for Sideways, a month-long itinerant initiative for contemporary art and culture. August – September 2012 | Belgium | Walks, canvas patchwork” [credit]

“Reg Carremans is a landscape painter who makes his work through walking or rubbing against the environment in which he is in. He was the only Belgian artist to complete the 375km Sideways 2012 Walking and Art Festival route, using canvas on the soles of specially adapted walking boots to gather multiple impressions for a series of ‘landscape paintings’ displayed en route.” [credit]

Helen Frankenthaler, Soak-Stain Painting Technique

“Helen Frankenthaler (Dec. 12, 1928 – Dec. 27, 2011) was one of America’s greatest artists. She was also one of the few women able to establish a successful art career despite the dominance of men in the field at the time, emerging as one of the leading painters during the period of Abstract Expressionism. She was considered to be part of the second wave of that movement, following on the heels of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. She graduated from Bennington College, was well-educated and well-supported in her artistic endeavors, and was fearless in experimenting with new techniques and approaches to art-making. Influenced by Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists upon moving to NYC, she developed a unique method of painting, the soak-stain technique, in order to create her color field paintings, which were a major influence on such other color-field painters as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.

One of her many notable quotes was, “There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”” [credit]

Fabienne Verdier, Horizon Scape (2015)

an abstract painting

Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 70 9/10 × 107 1/10 in credit

“Standing on the canvas that covers a majority of the studio floor, the artist grips the bicycle-like handlebars to move the enormous paintbrush, suspended from the ceiling and carrying up to 68 litres of paint.

As her unique method proves, Fabienne Verdier is no conventional painter. Yearning to “master the notion of spontaneity in painting” and dissatisfied with the arts education available in her native France, Verdier moved to China in 1984, at the age of 22, to study at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. “I was fascinated by the illustrations of the works by Chinese painting masters,” she recalls. “The purity and incredible dynamism of the lines, and the spiritual freedom exuded from them propelled me to leave for China.”

For 10 years, Verdier studied under master calligraphers and painters, including her late mentor Master Huang Yuan, who taught her to discover a new form of abstraction via Chinese calligraphy. “My Western aesthetic knowledge was totally put to question,” she says.
Now based back in France, Verdier is one of the only Western artists known for employing a Chinese medium in her art, and to great success. Her massive abstract paintings —made with the extraordinary method chronicled in the acclaimed documentary Painting the Moment—can command hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition to solo exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia, Verdier’s work is also part of the collections owned by institutions such as the Centre Pompidou and the Foundation François Pinault in Paris, and the Chinese Ministry of Culture in Beijing.

Both French and Chinese, traditional and modern, spontaneous and planned—her work itself is a dialogue about the dichotomies inherent in life. “We have within us both rationalism and intuition; we are torn between analytical rigour and total spontaneity; divided between a necessity to calculate and to imagine without constraint,” she explains. “From these apparent contradictions come energy and the meaning of life itself. It is this tension that runs through all of us that I aim to explore in my work.”

For “Now and Then: Reflections on Contemporary Ink,” the show presented by Art Plural Gallery in Singapore this month, Verdier created six new works in which she aimed to “invent a series of rhythms that recalls the relentless dynamism of life.”

Vernier is currently working in New York with the Juilliard School, researching the immateriality of sound and music and hoping to create a series of installations based on her findings. She is also collaborating with architect Jean Nouvel on the National Art Museum of China, based on the concept of shaping a building to imitate the energy, simplicity, and power of a single brush stroke. “My old masters would have been very proud,” she says.” [credit]

painting with giant paint brush

Baltic Wheel Labyrinth

a labyrinth

Credit: Axel Hindemith – Eigenes Werk des ursprünglichen Hochladers; Rasenlabyrinth in der Eilenriede

“The type Baltic wheel is an own form of a labyrinth, for some strict experts it is even none. Since it often has branching paths and a second one, mainly short path from or to the middle. And often at that an outer path with more choices.

The best historical example is the Rad in der Eilenriede in Hannover (Germany). And the restored Wunderkreis of Kaufbeuren (Germany). Others have not survived and are only known in literature. There is an affinity with the Indian labyrinth (Chakra Vyuha), because it is based like this on the triangle as a basic pattern.

A Baltic Wheel

A Baltic Wheel

Here I present a sort of prototype with a dimension between axes of 1 m which is so rotated that the central axis runs by the middle of the widening in the inner part. The eight circuits are surrounded by an outer ring and embedded in a circle with a total of 22 m for the diameter.

The whole is scaleable, that means the dimensions can be changed proportionally by multiplication with a factor. Every measurement multiplied by say 0.5 generates a labyrinth with a diameter of 11 m and a dimension between axes of 0.5 m and cut in halves all radii.
Best of all one starts in the middle and fixes at first the main axis with the points M1 and AX1. The remaining centres M2 to M4 are defined by intersecting the distances from two different (predetermined) points. M5 lies rectangular to the centre M1.

The salient points

The salient points

Then the axes of the different limitation lines are specified in their designated area starting from the precedent fixed centres of the circles. The different arcs follow each other freely of crease, because they come together in the common tangent vertically to the centre. This sounds more complicated than it is.

Design drawing

Design drawing

Here all measurements in a design drawing:  see, copy or print the design drawing as a PDF file” [credit]

Indian Labyrinth (Chakra Vyuha)

“This labyrinth has a triangle as a basic pattern. It is as easy to construct as the classical labyrinth. We do not know by whom it was invented. We also do not know whether his origin lies in the Indian cultural space. Often it is called Chakra Vyuha, a strategical battle formation which plays a role in the Hindu Mahabharata.

It has only two turning points and a centre that looks like a spiral (but however is not a real spiral). Variations are very slightly possible. Then one must add only some more sections to the basic triangle. Or form the centre a little bit differently, or make it bigger.

We begin with an easy implementation by dividing the sides of the triangle into 4 equal segments.

The basic pattern

The basic pattern

We start at the top and connect arched-shaped point 1 with the free end 1 of the line below.

The first steps

The first steps

Then we connect step by step from the left to the right in same distance every free end of a line or a point round the before drawn line from 2 to 6. The result is a labyrinth with two turning points and 5 circuits.

The complete labyrinth

The complete labyrinth

The exact centres and radii can be taken from the following drawing. The labyrinth is built by different arcs with different radii and different starting and endpoints. However, they stumble freely of crease each other. Thereby harmonious lines arise.

The layout

The layout

This labyrinth has another “feeling” than the classical 7-circuit labyrinth. One notices this if one is walking the labyrinth. This can be done really or with the eyes, e.g., here on the screen.
But typically as with all “real” labyrinths is, that from the beginning one turns immediately inside, goes back and outwardly and arrives unexpectedly suddenly the centre. This is also expressed in the path sequence: 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 – 5 – 6. Here you will get the drawing as a PDF file to see, to print, to download, to copy it.” [credit]

“Chakra means “Spinning wheel” and Vyuha means a “Formation”. The ancient symbol of the Chakravyuha dates back to the Manu Samhita, Pancaratra Agamas and the Great Epic of Mahabharata. There is much mystery surrounding the meaning of this universal form, which has been found in all corners of the World. Practically in every known civilization and pre-civilizations.

The most commonly known in Eastern Cultures are the Vyuha symbol (wheel-battle formation) and the Abhimanyu Yantra (classical labyrinth). They have appeared in Temple architecture, artistic & geometric scuplture reliefs, tantric drawings, charms, korowa tattoos, ‘Kote’ or ‘Fort’ board game and Lambs & Tigers board game of the tribes of Nilgiris, as offerings to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Rice, as sacred stones (Mahadeo) embedded in the ground throughout the Subcontinent.

Prehistoric examples of labyrinths are thought to have been used against bad spirits, trapping them within the winding walls. Many are found as petrographs, drawings carved into rocks and cave walls. In today’s subcontinental culture it is embraced traditionally by Women in the artistic forms of Rangoli and Kolam.

A Labyrinth is unicursal, one path winding back and forth, round and round to the centre (or exit). The journey may not be physically difficult to navigate but it it is not the physical that is important with labyrinths. Allowing entry to its knowledge only in ‘the correct way’, and through initiation, once all our old ideas and preconceptions have been discarded.

The word ‘Labyrinth’ is a pre-Greek Minoan word for Double-Ax (the Minoan Palace was called House of the Double-Ax). The Labyrinth has a special connotation among the Celtic Druids of Ireland and Scotland. They consider it be an epitome of spirituality, that one can master in revealing their true Self. In-tune with the Cosmic Forces that reside in everyone and everything. The number of Prehistoric Labyrinths and their effects are innumerable in the Land of the North.

Similarly, the spiritual and vast treatises of Ancient Eastern Cultures consider the different forms of Vyuhas as the divine instruments to realise the God-Self within. In it’s manifested form, every household or township or a Fort has these symbols either painted, carved or decorated.
One important aspect of this revelation, unknown for ages is that of Tirumala Dhruva Bera. Thirumala Dhruva Bera is the name given to the deity of Lord Venkateswara (VISHNU) in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh India. Considered to be one of the oldest places of active piligrimage in the World.

The principal priests in this Millenia old Temple, are known as DRUHYU ARCHKA
and the Vittala Temple priests are known as Parichalaka Archka. Today, the strangest resemblance ofcourse is to the Celtic Druid Priests or even Catholic Archbishops and the Patriarch lineage of Vatican Priests. The Stonehenge, a pre-historic monument of the North was considered as a Sacred Sun-Worship site by the ancient Druids. The blue-print of the stonehenges are in congruence with a Labyrinth design. Even the Horned God Cernunnos found in Denmark, has an uncanny resemblance to the Badadeo (Pashupati) of the Indus-Sindhu Valley Culture in Hadappa.

Chakravyuha/Labyrinths are temples that enhance, balance and bring a sense of the sacred – a place where we are in unity with the Cosmic Reality, Brahman. Awaken our Prana or Life force by elevating to Chitta, pure Intelligence or Consciousness. These structures are space/time or yogini temples where we can behold realities that oddly enough transcend space and time. The orientation, form and geometry have symbolic as well as spatial importance. It is a mirror for the divine, a place to behold the beauty of it’s own nature.

Spiraling inward and out, this serpentine flow is the most generative form of subtle energy. The process of moving through the pathway unwinds this stored energy, releasing, magnifying, and ultimately harnessing the Flow. Working directly in conjunction with the human energy fields this spiraling flow interacts with the Kundalini energy coiled at the base of one’s spine converting the subtle energy into Life Force itself. This uncoiling of the Kundalini vitalizes through a process of unfolding both upwards and inwards, an exhalation and ingathering of energies known as the cosmic dance of creation or Dance of Shiva.

Many such Sacred Dances are symbolically represented in various cultures such as the “Crane” dance recounted in the pre-Greek Cretean legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Labyrinths are found throughout the ancient European cultures of the Scandinavians, the Vikings, Druids of Ireland & Scotland, Arctic Russia, Bulgaria to the Mediterraneans, the ancient Egyptians in North Africa, Nubians, the fertile crescent of the Near East, in the South Asias to the Pacific Island Cultures. Also on otherside of the Globe in cultures of Pre-Columbian Americas the Mayans of Central America, Incas of Peru, Hopi Indians of North America.

Ancient Padmavyūha or Chakravyūha mentioned in the Epic of Mahabharata, a military formation, is like a HURRICANE or a TORNADO. It sucks in and eats up everything on its path and before the enemy realises it’s effects, the human vortex shifts in opposite directions and brings in a newer battling force. Thereby tiring the opponent to an utter psychological, physical and resourceless defeat. The Mahabharata and the Manu Samhita list by name and formation many vyūhas (‘battle formations’)” [credit]

Heath Bunting and Kayle Brandon, D’Fence Cuts (2001)

“Heath Bunting emerged from the 1980s art scene committed to building open, democratic communications systems and social contexts. Throughout his career, he has explored multiple media including graffiti and performance art and has staged numerous interventionist projects, as well as being a pioneer in the field of Internet Art. Bunting began collaborating with artist Kyle Brandon in 2001.” [credit]

These artists devised a circular tour (see map), and by night stealthily cut some fences as part of their Borderxing project. BorderXing serves as a pratical guide to crossing major international borders, legally or illegally. It was a type of physical hacking of space, cutting anything that impeded their walk – D’Fence Cuts. Below is an excerpt from their tour de fence catalog:

“tour de fence is the answer to your real needs. while the internet promised to level out all barriers, tour de fence enables you to surmount the fences out there that people erect to obstruct your way every day. from wire netting to ru­ stic fence, from steel door to close security system, tour de fence offers you the necessary know-how for unhampered movement. tour de fence is the direct way.

learn offroad mobility within high security architecture. cross over stretches of land in the right direction. penetrate the underground area of your city. tour de fence puts an end to the relocation of your movements into virtual space. use the tour de fence! become a tour de fence amateur team. pass this handbook on to others. propagate tour de fence.

by doing so you will become part of the international tour de fence community. as a reader, a free-climber or by sending one of the 24 tour de fence postcard in this book.

participate now! tour de fence’s vision is to do what we want.

tour de fence acknowledges fence as metaphor for private property. fence as a supposedly temporary, often mobile barrier performing functions of inclusion and exclusion, entrapment and guided freedom, decoration, safety, user boun­ dary, protection from hazard, flow control, visual screening and user separation.

fence is a permeable filter system defining permitted use and users. light, wind, insects, water, plants and sound pass unhindered while high order life forms such as·humans, fish, cattle and cars are engaged:

development of fence.

up to now the vertical has generally been private while the horizontal public. increasingly, vertical fences are being rotated to the horizontal and enlarged over large areas of land, as all use and users are embraced in total control.

tour de fence recognises the transformation of framed freedom into restricted open-range roaming; the re-alignment of unknown possibilities into known re­ peatables. users are permitted to skate across flattened surface of fence, but not to pass through – the fence is everywhere.” (credit)

Michèle Magema, Across the Souvenirs (2010)

This work has multiple sections: déambulation, where the artist silently walks across the screen carrying two bags wearing a white dress; Expansion, where the artist walks up stairs and across the screen – the image is doubled and reflected with reduced opacity and there is piano music playing; Transcription, where the artist walks across the screen in a white dress with a piece of chalk drawing a hip-height line across a black wall, then erases the lines with water – again the image is doubled during the drawing, but not the erasing, and music is present for the erasure.

“My work exists within an intermediary zone, a sort of matter space of a frontier I have produced and that I situate within the countries of France and the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am a cultural hybrid endowed with a composite identity. The plurality of my parents provide me with the authorization to interrogate my own history and that of a nation, the place of my birth, as well as the continent of Africa at large. The relationship that I maintain with my own personal history or histories and to history as a larger entity permits me to formulate a critical acquisition to write the concept of exitism. Exitism is a representation that is largely shared with history and even with practices at times. As the material of my work is always simple. I use historical facts that I interpret through the prediction of scene. Through these frontal images I expose my body that I use as a metaphor for the relationship between the human being and the world at large. My work sets up a direct relationship that centered on the world the field of society and politics. – Excerpts from Global Feminisms: Michèle Magema 2010″ [credit]

Walk & Squawk, The Walking Project (2003-2006)

photos of a performance project

Walk and Squawk, The Walking Project (2003-2006)

“The Drawing Project began in Detroit in 1999 and became an interdisciplinary performance, mapping and cultural-exchange project collaboratively developed by Walk & Squawk (Hilary Ramsden and Erika Block), with U.S. and South Africa-based artists and communities during a series of residencies in Detroit and KwaZulu-Natal from 2003 through 2006. Inspired by desire lines people made across vacant lots in Detroit and across fields in South Africa we explored the paths we walk and how they are formed through culture, geography, language, economics and love. We looked at how changing our patterns of movement can alter our attitudes and perception, how taking a different path can alter our lives. We discovered how learning language alters the actual paths in our brains and how taking a car means something very different from taking a walk.” [credit]