Kelly Chorpening

Walking Man (no. 2)

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Year 2020
Medium Pastel and pencil on paper
Dimensions 29.5 x 21 cm
Top pick Katharine Hamnett CBE, fashion designer

About the work

Since lockdown I have been drawn to, and drawing from, road markings near my home. Each painted figure or word has its own unique, expressive character. Battered and worn, yet still legible, they are small offerings of guidance and protection. I feel empathy towards these simple painted gestures, left by an unnamed creator. The encounter becomes powerfully moving; an unexpected moment of connection, as I roam abandoned streets. The drawings themselves are the product of a slow accumulation of marks, and this labour-intensive method is integral to the work’s meaning. It is drawing as meditation.

About the artist:

Born Baytown, Kelly Chorpening lives and works in London. Graduated from BFA Cleveland Institute of Art (1993), and MFA Hunter College and City University of New York (1995).

In her drawings, the distinction between object and image is often blurred by presenting them sculpturally. As objects, they teeter on the edge of preservation or destruction due to their overall design: paper mounted to industrially cut and rolled steel. The drawings defy gravity as unprotected drawn surface thrust into social space, and this tension between vulnerability and strength is furthered by the depiction of processes of aging and neglect upon a given subject. Drawing the appearance of these forces becomes a means of addressing the status of these objects, both physically and culturally, and finding expression for precarious conditions in life more generally.

Selected exhibitions include A History of Drawing, Camberwell Space, London (2018); Immaterial Statements, Horatio Jr., London (2016); Between Thought and Space, Dilston Grove, London (2015); Vertigo Before Words, Salon am Hof, Vienna (2007); Suspended Animation, Shillam Smith, London (2006).

Awards and residencies include Jerwood Drawing Prize (2016); Derwent Art Prize (2016, 2014); Phantom Limn, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh (2017); and Punk and Sheep, Canary Wharf, London (2014). 

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Hy-phae reach their deltoid girdle

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