About Series Silence is Golden

Silence Is Golden Series - Drawing 1

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’.

See the whole series here.