(re) purpose

Objects found on the Northumberland coastline utilised within mark-making processes - highlighting the detrimental impact that plastics have on the marine environment. Many of the objects had been re-purposed by fishermen when I found them; a testament to resourcefulness, long before the notion of re-cycling became fashionable. The accumulative nature of the mark-making processes, parallels the seemingly never-ending glut of plastics washed ashore daily. There is a performative element to the mark-making; whereby repetition and intuition merge. Surrendering to the unconscious, allows the maker to tune into flowing forms. Theodor Schwenk's, 1965 book Sensitive Chaos - 'Flowing Forms in Air and Water', has informed this theory. Within the book, Schwenk states that “the flow of water can turn out to be curvilinear, gliding, meandering, oscillating, rhythmically ebbing and flowing, going forth and returning”


The attaching of fixings and the tying of monofilament are all activities aligned to my lineage - the works in this capacity allude to so called 'heritage' skills within coastal communities. I have developed several of these drawing processes, for my role as an artist in residence during workshops at my former primary school (situated a stones throw from the beach). The 'Sense of Place', project initiated by Berwick Visual Arts, culminated with an exhibition at The Gymnasium Gallery to showcase the children's work.


Objects and processes 


a kayak paddle with four markers pens inserted into drilled holes led by twine via the makers hand, perfect circles can be formed, with a little ballast.


a strip of plastic, previously cut by a fisherman to provide framework for a lobster pot, drill hole with a marker inserted, the material is pulled in arcs via a length of twine.


a cast-iron sash window weight, found attached to a marker - pole to provide ballast at the bottom of a buoy. Suspended and taped together with a refillable ink marker. The nib when pressed expels ink -  spinning the weight vigourously, sprays cascading ink onto the paper.


a length of guttering turned upside down with two pens inserted into drilled holes. Twine attached either side, enables participants to push - pull together to create linear marks.


a roller from a lawnmower suspended via a length of monofilament with a pencil inserted. Rotating of the roller, offers infinite variations of looping, coiled marks. The tension of the suspended object, elasticity of monofilament, sharpness of the graphite pencil and force of rotations, are all determining factors in how the marks are transcribed.



graham patterson - visual artist