The Drawers - Kathleen Vance   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Highly Recommended, Jan 11 - Feb 20, 2007

The unfathomable complexity of the natural world, where particular interdependencies shape outcome and determine growth, is brought into focus by Kathleen Vance's attentive lines. Since every blade of grass, wildflower, stone, weed or shaggy tile of bark is given its due, there is an equitable relationship between the hand of the drawer and the natural world. By boiling it down (rendering) to a section of land or tree bark, there is potential to examine with precision like a surgeon peeling back the layers of flesh with a scalpel and then probing with gentleness in order to examine the make-up of the body. The path, wending its way with a graceful curve into the distance, a pathway of pristine white paper, is a place to kneel and examine closer the delicacy. As it snakes on the two dimensional page upwards, towards the top, the clear passage heads heavenwards much as the stem of a plant reaches towards light.

These drawings are meticulously executed diagrams for sculptures or studies for three dimensional projects. There is more of the hand of woman than the hand of God here, for Vance is not only overwhelming with her disciplined style but also determined to press the innocent slice of nature further under her thumb. She brings the outdoors indoors, domesticates and house-trains the unruly offspring of mother earth. She constructs a cross section of pathway complete with sections of planted vegetation, real grass and weeds, replete with an inner pump to keep the sculpture watered. Like architectural cross sections and plans made in order to increase the understanding and comprehension of the proposed building, the drawings anticipate the sculpture taking into account each minuscule component, realizing each leafy, barky, sandy presence with the indelible clarity of individualizing lines.

There is an I-Ching saying “It furthers one to have somewhere to go” Kathleen Vance leads us down a primrose path where the dalliance is controlled within a parameter. By limiting the sensational intake of nature to her specified and somewhat clinical analysis of a patch of ground or section of tree bark, nature is ruled in and brought into focus.

Copyright © 2007,  Headbones Gallery