DRAW Event: Between the familiar and the fantastical

DRAW is a Postgraduate Reading Group focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to drawing funded by the Postgraduate Communities fund.

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Image credit: Sarah Woodfine.

Wednesday 9 March
Lecture Theatre
Wimbledon College of Arts
Merton Hall Road
SW19 3 QA

Artist Sarah Woodfine began her presentation and discussion around the imaginary worlds that sit between the familiar and fantastical as explored through her drawing practice, by showing a short clip from The Wizard of Oz:

This is the moment when Dorothy enters Technicolor. An important moment for Sarah, it represents a slip from one reality to another. An experience which is refelcted in her practice, in its execution and resulting work:

‘With drawing I slip into another place…. my branch becomes a snake…’
Sarah Woodfine

Woodfine’s work centres on drawing. Strongly influenced by half remembered memories from childhood, she employs a wide variety of visual imagery exploring themes surrounding darkness and magic. Scenes are always depicted at night time as if lit by moonlight.  There is a certain element of gothic darkness, conjured up through the relationship between the precise and heavily drawn pencil process she employs combined with the subject matters depicted. Her drawing method employs a repetitive almost obsessive-compulsive process. The work is realized in both 2 and 3 dimensional constructions, again straddling familiar and fantastical worlds.

“Woodfine’s drawings, often contained within specifically constructed structures that act both as frames and as physical extensions of the drawing itself, operate as miniature worlds, self-contained systems through which a series of vignettes are staged for the viewer’s careful consideration”
Peter Suchin

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Sarah Woodfine shows an early snow globe piece

Woodfine spoke extensively about the development of her practice and process, and the role of imagination:

‘I can’t draw from reality… I get an outline and fill it in with my imagination.’
Sarah Woodfine

Her work has an illustrative quality, but a materiality and physical presence which is beyond illustration. She often offers the viewer multiple view points; a rendering of fantastical castle in a snow globe appears seductive, yet the image on the reverse is sinister. Different view points reveal different impressions. Paper becomes rope. The work plays with the viewer, transforming their impression.

‘My work is an acting out of what I’m feeling… constantly trying to understand different view points in everyday life’
Sarah Woodfine

 

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Sarah Woodfine studied postgraduate sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools, graduating in 1995. She went on to win the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2004 and is represented by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art. She is also the BA Fine Art: Sculpture Course Leader at Wimbledon College of Arts. Woodfine’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in various public and private collections, including London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and Middlesbrough’s Institute of Modern Art.

 

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