020 3490 83 63

Drew Walker

Since leaving the Chelsea School of Art, Walker's main focus has been a series of graphite portraits of famous and not-so-famous characters, using the large-scale faces as an outlet for clutter, situations, songs, thoughts, emotions, ideas, feelings and poems. At the beginning of the series, Walker's marks were fast; engaged in an entirely energetic process. The pictures have evolved to a imbue a more restrained and patient feel - energy is still there in initial mark-making, but the darker areas are used to create stories. By thinking through the drawing process, Walker doodles and finds shapes and stories in the initial marks. Essentially, Walker allows his subconscious ramble out onto the paper. Always working outside on a brick wall imbues the work in a rich physical texture. Walker revels in the way the bricks catch and manipulate the graphite in its own way. Form this he then sees the shapes form and creates stories. The whole process is very immediate, Walker completes the bulk of a picture usually in one day and then in the following weeks draws further into it, allowing subconscious situations to allow the image to take form. Other media is increasingly involved at this stage, such as coloured pencils, chalks, pen, paper and occasionally plants. Two simultaneous relationships with the image exist. From a distance, the viewer sees only the celebrity; but then approaching the picture, a whole new aspect appears which is the injection of Walker's own personality and subconscious, which existed only at the time that he created it. This he describes as his 'soul'. Walker is intrigued by what humans have evolved not to say, not to think, and not to feel. Therefore, he is fascinated by the exploration of the subconscious. He describes the way in which dreaming is one outlet, but when explaining dreams in the conscious and affective state of mind, he finds himself left short-changed and frustrated. Instead, by entering into the trance like mantra of a drawing, I reach a state when things become automatic and the work becomes an exposition of a subliminal energy and it's messages and feelings. The study of well-known faces is almost the contradiction of this: faces that we are used to seeing: faces that have become motionless: they are people with whom we have no personal association, and yet that fascinate and attract us. I am conjoining these faces with my nude self.