Art Review: Draw the Line

Words: Mary Dansie
Friday 21 April 2017
reading time: min, words

Get yourself down to The Surface Gallery in Hockley this week, before the Draw the Line exhibition ends.


The main floor hosts a range of different artists, whose works explore what it is to ‘draw the line’.

It’s an interesting thought, ‘drawing the line’. It’s similar to the expression ‘taking the pencil for a walk’. Nobody really knows what the end result will be. However, it is surprising and enlightening to see how drawing the line manifests itself through new, experimental forms and media in this exhibition.

Some of the pieces were what I expected from the title. They were thoughtful takes on the traditional pencil and paper. Niall Farrally’s Scruffy, Life Advice From Strangers, and Carole Sherman’s Undirected Journeys falls into this category for me. The latter showed a wonderful, complex mixture of chaos and precision in three floor to ceiling scrolls. Whilst my attention was drawn to the tight hubbub of overlapping drawings, underneath lurked a faint map of ruler-straight roads which I didn’t initially notice

The drawing of Scruffy, was just dead cute – simple, honest and needed nothing else. Scruffy was well portrayed by jagged edges, from where the pencil did not leave the page. I could easily see why these two fitted the brief of ‘Draw the Line’.

However, I did not anticipate some of the other medias displayed. Projectors presented a number of thought provoking and entrancing films by a collection of artists; Tracy Miller-Robbins, Phillip Anderson, Mark Langley, and Charlotte Eagles, to name a few. Nicci Haynes’ Drawing on Paper was especially interesting as a dancing figure flails violently around the screen, arms elongated from pencil scratchings. The music which accompanied the projections ranged from harrowing mechanical sounds to chirping birds, and heavily influenced the tone of the room.

Another impressive piece that caught my eye was Ian Turnock’s Eye of the Hurricane. The detailed aluminium sculptor immediately drew my attention as thousands of clock-wise lines create a dominating aerial-view of a typhoon.

Draw the Line exhibition is at Surface Gallery until Saturday 22 April, 2017.

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