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Sophie Coombs

Metaphysical Drawing sc/101/2005 2005

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2006

ink on paper

H 96.8 W 122.8cm
H 70 W 99.5cm

About the Artwork

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. Although the work Metaphysical Drawing is essentially abstract, the emergent pattern takes on the appearance of a landscape.


Quotation: Sophie Coombs, from a statement written by the artist on occasion of the acquisition of her work by the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006

What interests me are the layers of marks, intentional or otherwise, that the hand leaves behind.

Sophie Coombs

Sophie Coombs

– About the artist


Sophie Coombs’ artistic practice has spanned over two decades. Her work has been exhibited widely both in Australia and overseas and is represented in public and private collections.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

– View also


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