About Series Silence is Golden
This series of work started out as a need for me to get back to drawing. A need to discover how to address the notion of absence and presence, while grappling with pencil and paper. As I was experimenting with different ways of drawing or mark-making, I happened to be listening to the radio and found myself absorbed by a programme about an American woman scientist in the 1950s who had written a book called ‘And No Birds Sing’ which spoke about the desecration of the bird population once large-scale use of pesticides had become common practise in the USA. This struck a chord with me, as I realized that even from the window of my studio, where once I would hear birdsong there was now mostly silence.
My drawings then became a way of both responding to this absence/silence, and as an almost meditative process of how to make this silence manifest by the repetitive drawing of lines, and the filling up of the page. I like the fact that the lines register the vibrations and agitations of my hand, and are a record of the here and now.
I chose to use gold watercolour for its symbolic value – something precious and held dear. How drawing is a precious, primordial and necessary thing to mankind. And silence too, especially for any creative artist in our chaotic, noisy and permanently connected world. But I am also thinking about the silence that, alas, we face in our cities due to the disappearence of many common birds and how silence is not always ‘golden’.