Drawings


My dad’s life changed dramatically when he broke his neck (C3/4/5) 21 months ago.
Amongst other things, he lost his signature, voice and mobility, and with that a lot of his freedom, independence and identity. Recently he has started to draw. These drawings are a looping tangle of elaborate marks, some of them practicing words and thoughts, others charting the limit of his movement.IMG_1193So I drew him while he drew. We both spent about 25 minutes listening to Eva Cassidy and chatting away.WG_drawing_dad_eThe resulting drawings have been printed as four colour photo-lithographs side by side: a measure of a small bit of time spent together, side by side.IMG_1205 There is also a video of my drawing process, sped up nine times, so it’s less than three minutes long. Here is the link vimeo.com/158802185

vimeo.com/158802185

 

His eyebrows are dark and round, like a moon shape, eyelashes straight like a cow. His ears are not a big ear, not a bat ear, people can hear anything sort of ear, no: he has normal size ears, with a lot of poodle hair. To me, he has never aged, he still looks young to me.

IMG_1123She has an oval face, and a few freckles, which are rather attractive. She walked very gracefully, and now, of course she has rosy cheeks and a lovely smile. She is still the most beautiful girl in the world.IMG_1126When I first met your mother, I knew I would marry her. I liked her because she wore no make up. I liked her simplicity, she didn’t wear lipstick or powder, nothing at all.IMG_0886 1I’m completely Chinese. Why this person can’t speak a word of Chinese can fancy me? He was not ugly, not good looking, ordinary sort of person. Not tall, quite okay.IMG_3850To me, she is the ideal woman. More or less I fell in love with her at first sight.IMG_3855He was university educated, that attracted me, nothing else.IMG_0045

 

My mum was born in Malaysia, and came to the UK in the 60s to train as a nurse. Back then, she did not expect to meet my dad, raise a family far from her home town of Ipoh, and spend more than 50 years in the UK, speaking the third language that she has learned, surrounded by people with different ethnicity, working in hospitals as a midwife, helping my dad run a veterinary practice, and thoroughly immersing herself in the economy and politics of another place. She says there’s nothing you can’t do without a bit of effort. This was what a teacher had said when she was thinking of coming to England, even though English was her worst subject at school.

So anyway, I drew her while she told me a bit about her past. You can view the film here at vimeo.com/156493821

vimeo.com/156493821

I just got back from a trip to the US where I spent time with many lovely friends and hung out in the forests and fields, forgetting about the hustle of London life. It was exactly what I was longing for: no near-death misses on my bike, no sirens all night, no tube strikes and city-wide roadworks: hurrah, instead the sound of the sea from my cabin at night, and lots of time outdoors. So I thought I would bring out my sketchbook, something that was a constant companion until I suddenly stopped a few years ago. One drawing a day, I thought, and I didn’t quite make it, but here are some of them.
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ForestIMG_3891_e

Grass Mountain

IMG_3892_eGrass Mountain
IMG_3893_eView of the sand spit from Cascade headIMG_3894_eView of Cascade head from the sand spit

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Sitka Center for Arts and EcologyIMG_3895Bus to Seattle, with annoying stranger who leaned on my arm the whole trip… ;(IMG_3882_ePrint Zero print studio in Seattle, run by Brian LaneIMG_3878_e

Brian LaneIMG_3879_e

Brian in pub

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Great show about disguise at the Seattle Art MuseumIMG_3897_e

IMG_5921_eThe rolling fields near Weston, OrIMG_5922_eIMG_5923_eSt Andrew’s Mission graveyard
IMG_5924_eOh the greyhound bus, next to prophets and veteransIMG_5925_eMo Osorio in LAIMG_5926_eDaisy and BongoIMG_5927_eJack Doyle’s cameraIMG_5928_eCabin in the forest
IMG_5919_eColumbia River GorgeIMG_3900_e

Hestia and MekoIMG_3899_e

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Greyhound, againIMG_3884_eOf course, many memories were undrawable, unphotographable, just nice to experience.

I was also fortunate to spend a few days in the beautiful Crow’s Shadow Press in eastern Oregon, which I first visited almost 10 years ago. It was great to catch up with friends, and breathe in the desert air, even though it actually rained there in August for the first time in years. I started to make a series of reduction prints which I am still working on now: here is a sneak preview.

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Wouldn’t it be great if this were an animation??

Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe.