The Lick Drawings (2009-Present)
The Lick Drawings are a series of performative drawings completed from 2009 to present and have been exhibited in nationally and internationally in various exhibitions in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, New York and Taiwan. They were selected for the UKYA (UK Young Artists) Exhibition in Derby, England, the NEU/NOW Festival, ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts), and have been exhibited at two art fairs; SCOPE, New York and The London Art Fair. They were recently exhibited in a large solo exhibition in Siamsa Tire Gallery, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 2012.
As the source images for The Lick Drawings, I wanted to look at common tropes of horror, so I drew stills taken from (mostly) mainstream horror films. The process of drawing the images was important, there needed to be a relationship between the film and the drawing so the films were projected using a data projector, paused at certain points, and the drawing was traced onto the paper behind the projected image. I began to lick the most horrific element within the image to remove it, and therefore the amount of licking depended on the image itself. The pressure of licking causes my tongue to bleed.
Different films were chosen for different reasons, but mostly because they are well known and recognised, so that even though they are taken out of their context, thus disrupted and recreated, they still have some sense of 'being seen before' - this consequently creates an almost uncanny experience. Rather than allowing the film to complete itself, the drawing of the image halts the story of the film so it cannot restore any kind of patriarchal 'order' through filmic narrative. Instead what is left is the abject quality of the scene, which is further reiterated by the action of licking, which absorbs saliva and blood into the image. The licking duplicates the image's monstrous quality, or rather converts it from the metaphorical abject into the literal.
Above is a small selection of images, please contact Jenny Keane via the Contact page for further drawings in the series.