John Graham's foundations are in drawing and printmaking, his practice has also included video installations, writing and curatorial projects. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, most prominently with the Green On Red Gallery in Dublin and the Yanagisawa Gallery in Japan. Graham’s work is included in major public collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Arts Council of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library and the New York Public Library. His articles and exhibition reviews have been published by the Visual Artists’ News Sheet, Paper Visual Art Journal and Enclave Review, among others. John has a BA (Printmaking) and MFA (Media) from the NCAD. He is a member of the Black Church Print Studio. He is a lecturer in the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture (YAADA) at IT Sligo. www.johngraham.ie
The genesis of Graham’s recent drawing practice is in the etching process. An etched line is embedded in the printing plate and the resulting printed line carries a unique sense of physical authority. Graham’s drawings are an attempt to extend this process to a way of working that is lighter, more flexible and more direct.
Artists’ drawings are often considered to be their most personal work – where their sensibility is most directly on display – but Graham’s use of repetitive gestures and more mechanical means upset this. “My drawings express something of my sensibility, inevitably, but the process itself resists this, and I like that contradiction.”
The filmmaker Robert Bresson says “Don’t run after poetry. It penetrates unaided through the joins …”. An ardent fan of Bresson, Graham understands this as a plea to avoid aiming for deliberate effects. The ideas in a work of art can be stronger for being hidden, but in such a way that people can find them. The ruled line is a basic element of drawing, and has the quality of being uninflected with personal style or touch.
About John Graham's commission
"My aim is to continue with the development of my recent drawing practice, sustained by this encouraging commission. Working alone in my small studio, I often think about the environments my work might inhabit in the future. These can be both physical and psychological, new places for the work to live and extend into. A relationship with The Dock and its team presents new possibilities for these real and imaginative encounters. In the coming months I hope to develop new strategies for presenting my work to the viewer, including different kinds of physical display, and varieties of virtual encounter."