ink on paper
70 × 99.5cm, sheet
Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2006
This intricately drawn work on paper is the result of an obsessive, detailed drawing practice, in 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 worlds. 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-tip 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 three to six months, Coombs’ composition will, as she describes it, ‘unfold’. The immersive process is the key rather than the pursuit of a particular result. Although Metaphysical Drawing is essentially abstract, the emergent pattern takes on the appearance of a landscape.
Updated and approved August 2016.