Prue Cleland - 'Making Space'

Wednesday 1 - Sunday 26 May 2019

Prue Cleland’s drawings are created by working coloured pencil in overlapping layers of line, colour and form to produce intriguing semi-abstract images that are reminiscent of textures and detail found mostly in the natural environment. They also offer a wistful personal narrative that is evocative rather than explicit that invites the viewer to reflect on their own subjectivity if they wish.

The start of each drawing begins without a predetermined design or narrative. The structure and content develops through the conscription of ideas and questions taken from her thoughts and preoccupations at the time, which can be as layered as the drawing itself. Finding an accurate way to represent these thoughts visually falls within the realm of non-verbal thinking, creative problem solving, and aesthetic decision making – and a total absorption in her work.

A friend once commented that watching Cleland draw was like watching an archaeologist scraping away on a dig – with meticulous curiosity, only she was removing an overburden of white paper to reveal the as yet unknowable drawing rather than removing soil to reveal an artefact. But nevertheless this was accepted as a good analogy.

The work is also a celebration of the joy Cleland finds in the extraordinary versatility of coloured pencils as a primary fine art medium. They are portable, simple and beautiful. Having had a background in sculpture, the artist also enjoys the tactile aesthetic of their use. Together with quality paper, and with ethical sourced framing, they produce ecologically benign art works