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DRAWINGS FROM RENEWAL
by marko koludrovic
This selection from about one hundred drawings emerged from my therapy programme. I have undergone therapy since the mid nineteen seventies. My current agenda is recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have never before used drawing to pursue a direct engagement with recovery in therapy.
It's not unusual for artists
to use pictures as a way of dealing with personal issues that disrupt
their lives, often undermining the creative ability to continue their
arts practice. This genre of making images for healing has a long
history, particularly if linked to broader understandings of recovery
such as renewal or amelioration. Rebirth or renovato in Latin is a
new beginning in this life and beyond. It's a universal eternal quest
that spans culture. Christianity has resurrection, Hindus invest belief
in reincarnation and Buddhists interpret the spiritual realm as quests
for clarity by asking questions about where we come from, where we
are going and why. Vast quantities of painted canvas, acres of murals
and eternal tons of sandstone bear witness to this pursuit from beginnings
of all kinds.
Tibetan sand paintings
offer a long tradition of cyclic renewal where all things enter impermanence.
Vincent van Gogh famously entered an asylum in his bid to halt the precipitous decline his life was facing. Jackson Pollock explored a Jungian path to help make sense of his chaotic emotional insolvency that produced a daunting sketchbook of monsters and fairies which can be witnessed in the paintings he made before his fateful abstractions. Dubuffet's Art Brut collects many methods of dealing with madness and the outsiders who were once seen as specimens. My all-time favourite among these artists who now demand important collectors bidding for their work is Martin Ramirez. He was committed to an asylum whose staff made deliberate efforts to deny him drawing materials. He managed anyway according to legend, scrounging toilet tissue, cigarette papers and waste paper to make an extraordinary collection of montages and drawings that often resemble game boards or wildlife illustrations. Weird spaced-out tigers ride trains in dark tunnels making madness appear quite sane. It is reported that he never spoke a word during his captivity.
This collection of drawings I humbly offer is not meant as an exemplar of this tradition but merely an extension of it. They are all equal in size (A4) and use felt pen, correction fluid and a range of digital and printed mediums. It was not my intention to make highly resolved and formally complete images.
I actively recalled memories
of childhood, some of which were very painful and I remembered my
school days which were confused by constant upheaval and an unpredictable
family life. I imagined my father, the mythic giant of my childhood,
in a silent play of memories that sometimes haunt me. He was a good
man but deeply scarred by war and displacement. My mother persistently
tried to make things work but their experiment in renewal I think
was doomed. They came to Australia as refugees from post war Europe
to an alien place where their skills and histories meant virtually
nothing. Recalling these events and people in these pictures was more
important than making them look good according to a predetermined
plan. I find some of them difficult to look at in retrospect but not
during their making.
images: two sketched portraits by my sister, Valentina Koludrovich. Pencil and ink on paper. c.1964.
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