(re) purpose

The works draws attention to the detrimental impact that plastics have on the marine environment. Objects found on the North-Northumberland coastline are used within mark-making processes. Many of the objects had been re-purposed or adapted 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 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”


Objects and processes include - a kayak paddle with four markers pens inserted into drilled holes led by twine via the makers hand, walking in circles and and arcs across the paper.


A strip of plastic (electricity sign – cut to provide framework for a lobster pot) drilled holes either side, one with a marker inserted one with a counterweight to balance) - pulled via twine in arcs.


A cast-iron sash window weight (found attached to  a lobster marker - pole to provide ballast at the bottom of a buoy) suspended, taped tight together with a refillable indian-ink marker, the nib when pressed expels ink -  a quick rotational spin of the weight sprays cascading ink onto the paper.


A length of guttering turned upside down with two pens inserted into drilled holes, nibs slightly proud of plastic - twine 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.


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, specifically for a week of workshops at my former primary school (situated a stones throw from the beach) - as part of a 'Sense of Place'. A project initiated by Berwick Visual Arts, culminating with an exhibition at Berwick Gymnasium Gallery to showcase the children's work alongside three other primary schools within the borough. The endeavour required to activate the materials to create the work - echoes the buildings former use as a military training facility.

graham patterson - visual artist