There is no path. You make the path by walking Antonio Machado
On the Spatial Drawings: in this new development Ann Sutton challenges herself with new materials, colour and movement. Having taken weave to its consummation, she passed her sophisticated technical equipment on to new makers, hung up her crown and grabbed a handful of new materials. She responded as she had in the 1960s when she discovered plastics, a material with no history and a huge future. The concentration on monochrome is also new to an artist whose work over five decades is synonymous with colour. In the series of Spatial Drawings, with a focus on potential kinesis, the viewer moves past and the work leaps into momentary action. She constantly draws while she travels, using vibration on a train or the swell of the sea to create vivid and changing lines and grids.
For those who always strive for meaning or a message, the viewer may catch a glimpse of a letter shape. We are given just enough encouragement to seek out words and meaning ourselves – Ann Sutton’s work seduces and whispers then changes as we watch and move by.
Every aspect of this exciting work is new and original in both medium and technique. The sinuous lines are manipulated through canvas, board or Perspex support and each new group takes the process and material in different and shifting directions.
What is continuous throughout her career has been her commitment to innovation, to the concepts of constructivism, to new materials and a joie de vivre in every work.
The work often starts with material and its properties. Once we have played together and are in tune, the material will provide parameters: instructions to the user. Where I use colour it is not in any aesthetic way, but as a locator and to differentiate. Sometimes the results are aesthetically interesting, and that comes best though healthy relationships of material and concept, and if it does then that is a bonus, but it is never an aim.
Drawing interests me because of its purity and its usual limitations of working tools and media.
But it is a path very well walked in its representational form, and also now in mark-making. Taught and hackneyed ‘skills’ are difficult to eliminate. The traditional beautiful line is of no interest. Awkward lines are much more vital.
The two-dimensional qualities of drawing were there to be challenged. Why shouldn’t the lines lift off the surface and work with each other, and against each other? So my spatial drawings were conceived. The viewer is needed: the slightest movement, even of the eyes alone, results in changing imagery, and it is never ending. Rules and parameters: lines are of certain proscribed lengths, are curved or kinked or stuttered, are placed in grids or not. Two-dimensional lines drawn or splashed onto the support combine and play with the three-dimensional ones.
On unqualified freedom: “ I would as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down” Robert Frost