Drawings and installations by Gail Grinnell

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GAIL GRINNELL: Drawing, 2012

In the simplest terms everything I do is a drawing. I use working methods that I associate with the movements and materials that are used to do laundry or make garments – all of this grounded in familial memory. The touch of my mother’s hand on my torso, as she measured fabric and the unique dimensions of my body, indelibly marked the way I think about the human form and intimacy.

The construction of these drawings is based on methods used to patch holes in cloth similar to a mend applied to the most fragile of clothes. The drawing builds upon itself – one mark suggesting the next.

I love beauty but not idealized beauty. My eyes slide off of classical, symmetrical proportions finding no point of purchase. It is the imperfections and the kind, gracious arrangement of them that excite my eye and interest my mind. I want my work to be a physical reminder of the body that creates it – fragile, transitory, and incrementally proportionate to the maker – a remainder of the body’s activity at a particular point in time.

I think I am protecting and furthering my mother’s work. She brought skill, imagination and beauty to the humble tasks of living. The tasks of maintaining life are grindingly real and solid while grace and beauty are fleeting – the essence of both is found in the making. Over the years my studio practice has produced wildly divergent results as I travel between these two poles in my search for an expression of the present moment.