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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Spirituality: "At the end of my pencil" by Bridget Riley

For me, drawing is an inquiry, a way of finding out - the first thing that I discover is that I do not know. This is alarming even to the point of momentary panic. Only experience reassures me that this encounter with my own ignorance - with the unknown - is my chosen and particular task, and provided that I can make the required effort the rewards may reach the unimaginable.

It is as though there is an eye at the end of the pencil, which tries, independently of my personal general-purpose eye, to penetrate a kind of obscuring veil or thickness. To break down this thickness, this deadening opacity, to elicit some particle of clarity or insight, is what I intend to do.

The strange thing is that the information I am looking for is, of course, there all the time and as present to one's naked eye, so to speak, as it ever will be. But to get the essentials down there on my sheets of paper so that I can recover and see again what I have just seen, that is what I have to push towards. What it amounts to is that while drawing I am watching and simultaneously recording myself looking, discovering things that on the one hand are staring me in the face and on the other I have not yet really seen.

It is this effort 'to clarify' that makes drawing particularly useful and it is in this way that I assimilate experience and find new ground.

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