Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2006
artists book, ink on paper, satin cover
97 × 65 × 12cm
Sophie Coombs’ multi-disciplinary artistic practice includes drawing, the production of artist’s books, sculpture and installation.
These intricately drawn works on paper testify to an obsessive, detailed drawing practice, on which the artist works for concentrated periods of time. For Coombs, ‘metaphysical drawing’ is a meditative activity as well as a way of comprehending the imaginary and the material world. Thoughts are reproduced as patterns, and drawing becomes a form of writing, akin to keeping a journal. The link between stream-of-consciousness and the activity of the hand is paramount.
Starting with a blank piece of paper, and using felt and fountain pens, Coombs gradually fills the surface with small conjoined freehand circles that play with difference in line, texture and tone. Working on a drawing over a period of months, Coombs’ composition as she describes it will ‘unfold’. The immersive process is the key rather than the pursuit of a particular result.
What interests me are the layers of marks, intentional or otherwise, that the hand leaves behind.