LONDON, UK.- The Drawing Gallery is pleased to present New Drawings by the British artist Alison Wilding. Alisons exhibition of new drawings at The Drawing Gallery is a collaboration between Yvonne Crossley and Karsten Schubert and also coincides with the solo sculpture exhibition Alison Wilding at the Betty Cunningham Gallery, New York. Asked to write a short piece to accompany the exhibition, Alison provided the following Notes on Drawing in February 2005:
During January and February at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, starlings gather at dusk before roosting. From 4.30 pm for a period of approximately 40 minutes, small groups of birds flew in from all directions converging into an ever expanding swathe. Against a cloudy and darkening sky the starlings massed together flying above us like a continuous hail of arrows. At one point a sparrowhawk was amongst them and the bird cloud split in two - one half peeling off to the left, the other to the right; miraculously no two birds ever appeared to touch - a million separate dynamic marks in the sky. The bird formation described a drum, stretched into an elastic strip, then the funnel of a tornado, becoming invisible as they turned sharply in the air. It was an unpredictable display of shape-shifting geometry. As the starlings circled, flying lower and lower preparing to roost, the noise from the beating of their wings was thrilling - a huge engine flying over-head. The starlings came down suddenly, almost invisibly, as one body. The sky was empty. I had watched a drawing masterclass.
My drawing is a search for its subject; the techniques I employ have evolved over the years. I like paper as material - its all surface and shadow, it is ambiguous and hard to read. As a vehicle for drawing it becomes quotidian and the transition from one condition to another is quite important. I am not a draughtsman, neither are the drawings based upon observation, they are more like the sculpture than I previously thought. Of course they are more immediate and more direct although some progress in stages over days or even weeks - rarely but occasionally, years. If they are any good they reveal a lot, perhaps too much. Recent imagery in some of the drawings has surprised but excited me, but whether drawing or making sculpture, work comes from work. I would rather look at a drawing than read about it.
Alison Wilding was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1948. She studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Kent and the Royal College of Art in London. Alison is an innovative and highly regarded sculptor, whose work of the past three decades, spans numerous mediums and production methods. She has exhibited internationally; including the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1985 and the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1987/8 and more recently Contract at the Henry Moore Foundation, Halifax in 2001. Alison has created a number of large-scale public commissions, which include Ambit, 1999; a floating sculpture on the River Wear, Sunderland and Migrant 2003 for Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh. Alison lives and works in London.