Discomfort by Joshua Sleeman-Taylor

By Joshua Sleeman-Taylor

Foyer Gallery > 1 June – 2 August 2018

Opening night | 6:00pm Friday 1 June 2018

There are an endless variety of atmospheres and emotional states that can be evoked from different approaches to life drawing. In an academic setting life drawing can feel quite clinical. In other drawings, the naked figure can appear quite vulnerable. When drawing the human body, diversionary marks can be especially evident; people understand the body inherently, it is a subject with which they empathise.

Discomfort is an exhibition of etchings that investigate how imagery of the human body can be used as a vessel for emotional expression. Multiple references to minor movements are combined together to create new awkward forms. These figures are cumbersome, exposed and vulnerable. Unwieldy forms that deny the figures any privilege of comfort and evoke a reflexive sense of sympathy. The goal of this work is to access the empathy a viewer feels for the human figure and to communicate emotions of discomfort such as anxiety, tension and vulnerability.

Through his printmaking techniques, Joshua Sleeman-Taylor has endeavoured to explore the tension created when his control of the mark making is diminished. Joshua works on paper before transferring the image to the printing plate. The resistance of dry-point and unpredictability of etching transform the drawings as they are made on the plate’s surface. The properties of these mediums stand in stark contrast to the directness of working on paper.

Mark making can be meditative and relaxing or it can be aggressive and energetic. Dry-point is a physically demanding medium, so to create gestural marks a great deal of energy is needed. The required physicality of dry-point facilitates an expressive and energetic use of mark making. Exertion is conveyed through the aggressive look of the line.

To pass on the uncontrived emotions and effort he feels while creating a work to the viewer, Sleeman-Taylor has endeavoured to work spontaneously and openly to make the emotional content of his works feel personal and honest. This work isn’t about the representation of a particular person but about creating something emotionally charged using the human figure as the basis.

About Joshua Sleeman-Taylor >

Joshua Sleeman-Taylor is a Canberra based artist and printmaker. He completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at the ANU School of Art & Design in 2017. His practice incorporates an eclectic use of mixed media drawing and printmaking techniques, including screenprinting, relief printing and lithography. Joshua specialises in intaglio printmaking processes, such as etching and dry-point engraving. He has a direct and physical approach to making, creating work that is energetic and gripping.