One of my favourite underappreciated factors of life is when you have those very personal moments to yourself where your mind wonders completely, and it seems as though everything that is happening around you slows down entirely, and you’re left with a thought that you conjured up entirely by yourself and you don’t quite know what to do with it.
When the brief for ‘Time Passing’ was delivered to us by Anna and Georgina, I was filled with great excitement and an overwhelming urge to dive straight into the project. We were sent into the wild to find a spot, a place, a hideout, whatever it may be to you, in which we would spend our time for the majority of the project. I wasn’t sure where to go at first, and I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to draw. I started with people. My feet carried me to the train station where I soon found myself sitting on the floor attempting to draw some travellers. Whilst I was sat people-watching and thinking about all the different concepts of Time Passing, I realised that I was looking closely at people waiting.
I sat and drew a few people here and there but I wasn’t happy, and I knew instantly that I didn’t want to spend an entire project working this way. Shortly after this realisation, a gentlemen walked by me and I watched him take a sip of his tea, coffee, whatever his favourite might be. I remember specifically describing him as “hopelessly romantic looking” and “lonely chap: tweed suit”. What caught my eye the most was his hands, watching them move and handle his cup as he took a sip in that short second. I was quite shocked at how much this fascinated me, and immediately I knew where to go next.
I really enjoyed having an hour or two at the market. I started by having a walk round having a look at each stall closely to see what sort of things happen; the exchanging of items for money, the gestures shared and light-hearted conversations and so on. I then found that the stalls that seemed to be the liveliest were the bakery stall, and the Meat market. I started with the bakery (because, well, the old women are always full of Monday afternoon banter and gossip) and I spent around 30 minutes there. I really enjoyed watching them as they worked, and at the end they were happy with the drawings I had produced and I went away with 3 free doughnuts. (win!)
I then wandered the streets of Cardiff looking for a little more inspiration and came across a man busking. I asked him politely if I could draw him and so I did. I then photocopied all my drawings I had made that day and placed them neatly in my sketchbook (above).
It was at this moment in time that I knew for sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my project focussing on hands, and the idea of focussing on them showing things such as habits, work, hobbies and simple gestures as a concept of time passing. Another realisation that I gained when I was placing my hand drawings, was that I much preferred the drawings without the objects in the hands. This was because the focus is then kept on the hands, and it also leaves it to the imagination of the viewer to comprehend what they are doing.
Part of the brief was to complete 4 tasks:
4 images imagining a sequence happening within a year
20 images imagining a sequence happening within the space of an hour
12 images imagining a sequence happening within ten minutes
7 images imagining a sequence happening within a week
Left to right: 4 images in a year- this is imagining somebody’s exhaustion and disintegration throughout the year. 20 images in an hour, is my lecturer during one of the constellation lectures. 12 images in ten minutes is a friend of mine making a paper swan. 7 images within a week is my flatmate Felicity holding her cup of tea in the morning of each day of the week.
I really enjoyed these tasks that were set for us and they really helped me to define what I might want to achieve out of a final piece. I knew that I didn’t want to work with colour, although we did have to chance too. I do like the larger scale drawings but I feel like with my smaller drawings, that I can really develop a sense of time passing, showing a sequence in greater detail with smaller images yet more of them.
So for my final piece for this project, I decided to video record a personal habit of mine ready to illustrate: smoking. I recorded myself rolling the cigarette and also smoking it. I then drew 16 small images (6.5x4cm) of my hands rolling the cigarette, yet not including the objects in my hands. I then did 4 larger drawings (14.8x9cm) of my hands with the objects included.