Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Study Visit Jo Brocklehurst at the House of Illustration

This was great. Big bold drawings of big characters. The punks particularly leapt off the pages so lively. I hadn't heard of Jo Brocklehurst before but I've enjoyed previous exhibitions at the House of Illustration and I was reminded in time to visit by an interview with Isabelle Bricknell by Robert Elms on Radio London.

The figures took up all of the paper but there was rarely any background, seated figures with nothing to sit on except each other - many of the subjects were couples drawn together. The works are on fairly thin cheap paper, mainly in pastel with ink and metallic or fluorescent paint in a supporting role. There were touches of collage and hand drawn lettering. Her lines were sweeping, bold and confident. Apparently she wasn't interested in capturing beauty so she was free to draw pouting lips and dead limpid eyes but somehow they still looked beautiful to me. The hands were slightly oversized and knobbly drawn with confidence. The drawings are lively and energetic because she drew rapidly even when there was time available. The lines were often in orange, blue or red, or latterly in fluorescent colours. She drew live in darkened nightclubs whilst wearing dark glasses so I guess whilst she was making them the colour was irrelevant and it was the shapes that she was concentrating on.

Information about the exhibition at House of llustration Some images here and Vice tells you more about her as a person here. She was taught by Elizabeth Suter who also did some brilliant figures of women.

There was also a small selection of drawings by Linda Kitson which are so much nicer in real life than I could have imagined from the online photos.

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