ROB McLEISH: THE APPROACH
Most of my drawing work is grounded in trying to destroy or aggravate an existing image.
I’ve been using gymnasts extensively in drawings and collages for a while now, and gradually the markings, gestures and defacements that I apply have moved towards musings on sculpture. Essentially, I have been drawing sculptures. Most of my drawing work is grounded in trying to destroy or aggravate an existing image – so it’s satisfying when something additional starts to emerge, through repetition, out of destruction.
Gymnasts are showcased as idealised examples of elite dexterity and their wild contortions, especially frozen mid-action, are overtly sculptural. I always wanted to take figuration (being an archetypical artistic pursuit) as a basic cue for the works and then collide, in the making process, a culturally aspirational view of creativity against a wilfully morbid and non-aspirational one. The sculptures do look like they’ve been crafted, ripped apart and then grafted back together.