Black Pen

For most people, black pens are ‘default’ – dark, bold and the loyal guide of outlines. ‘Black Pen’, however, challenges this preconception by acting as an on-going exploration of inked diversity. Through repetition, perseverance and combination, each pen drawing highlights a unique personality and constructs a passage of time into pattern. Here, there are subtleties to be found in every stroke; small dashes accumulate texture whilst each line decorates another row. Instead of being avoided, ink bleed-throughs are encouraged and the reverse of a drawing revealed as something beautifully enigmatic. The themes to be found in this archive describe a tension between restrictions dictated by the tool and a sense of aesthetic control – as some drawings come to an enforced end, others begin a new phase.


Grace Holliday