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I spent 3 hours on the drawing and completed most of it before my children awoke early one morning in the first week of lockdown. Interestingly the headlines in the news later that day described the Covid 19 virus as a tsunami hitting Britain so without realising I had captured a cultural shared moment in history by referencing Hokusai’s Great Wave in the drawing. This is also the first image of my children represented as ‘sausage-like’ forms which allow me to experiment with their relationship to my body through biomorphic abstraction. Their bodies differentiated through tone are solid in comparison to my body which is linear and becomes equivocated with the environment. This is a drawing convention consistent with Eastern drawing traditions in which an ontological view of reality visualises a ‘floating world’ through the linear movement of lines. Here the fluidity of forms in the environment and in the maternal body is drawn in contrast to the solid permanence of the sausage-like forms which are aligned with Western traditions of form in drawing.* These sausage-like forms circle out from inside of me referencing the moment of birth. My body is in a protective position as I shield them whilst they simultaneously loop back inside me to form the spine of my body showing mutuality of support.
*This idea references Philip Rawson’s text ‘Drawing’ (1977) in which he articulates this observation of the ontological differences in drawing between Eastern and Western traditions using the example of the artist Utamaro to articulate his point.
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