Tuesday, 24 April 2012

anything could happen

anything could happen was the title of a drawing that I destroyed, and which I very much regret having done so. It dated from 2006, and I kept it until 2010, destroying it one afternoon, along with others, in an unremitting surge of self disapprobation.
It was small and slight in appearance; the silhouette of a shadowy dog with open mouth, made in pencil over the impression of a piece of broken slate that I had laid into damp paper. I made several such drawings at the time, using a rudimentary embossing process. Something about the profile of the broken slate seemed to be amusing, tongue in cheek, and I could not help but discern the open mouthed dog, poised as if waiting for something to happen. After some thought, I added a small circle of crimson felt to the drawing, placing it on a curved trajectory a short distance from what appeared to be the opened mouth of the dog. The drawing thus came together with an ease which astonished me, as did the title, seeming to describe the unexpectedness of the arrival of the drawing itself, the transformation and completion of the piece made possible by the addition of the red circle of felt.
I have no memory of the other drawings I destroyed that afternoon, except for the drawing of the accidental dog and the red ball. It's loss causes me pain; I should like to have it still, to remind me that a drawing can arise unexpectedly from the chance association of ideas, can be as light as air, can mean nothing at all, yet still possess the capacity to evoke a response in the viewer, if only a fleeting smile.

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