Solo presentation with Arusha Gallery, at Draw Art Fair, hosted by Saatchi Gallery, London.
This collection of drawings explores the ‘fragmentation’ of the world directly through process. Drawing on both art-historical and modern influences, images are constructed from fragments of visual language ‘collaged’ together to create a version of reality which is both familiar and surreal.
This combination of unexpected elements in Pippa Young’s drawings and paintings, conjures a sense of the absurd, fragmented nature of contemporary experience. The figures are not portraits - they represent general ideas of being human rather than specific people. They occupy an empty pictorial space - no clues are provided to locate them in time or place. We are unsure of what occupies them. Sometimes even gender is uncertain. Young explores ideas around identity, subjective reality and what it is like to be human in a modern world which often appears unhinged.
“I see my work as a contemplative antidote to the world outside. Contemporary life seems to be defined by a constant onslaught of information; through TV, social media, politics, and news (fake or otherwise). How are we to make sense of these multiple, sometimes contradictory, fragments of experience? In my work I explore the relationship between the external world with its confusing demands for our attention and the subjective world we construct around ourselves.”
“It is a human tendency to filter our experience of the world and to construct our ideas about it based on core beliefs. We accept fragments of information which support our existing views and tend to disbelieve anything which doesn’t fit our model. How do we know that the information we receive isn’t fake? How do we know our subjective view of the world is real?”
Drawing is an integral part of the practice. Every painting starts with a drawing which is subsequently buried under layers of paint, but can often be seen as a ghostly indication of the painting’s structure. More fundamentally, the process of drawing allows half-formed thoughts to emerge and take form.
“The physical act of drawing is not simply about transferring mental images to paper — ideas develop in the space between the brain and the hand.”
“My larger work is labour intensive and time consuming and I have a tendency to censor ideas before I have tried them out. I have an ongoing series of small postcard-sized works which came about because i wanted to record and test fragments of ideas and materials without compromising the larger work — they act as a kind of ‘idea bank’ and inform future lines of enquiry.”
These drawings show a wide range of ideas, process and influence: collage, graphic, pattern, threadwork, sketch, pouncing, vintage and found materials. Each piece explores an idea or material which may find its way into a larger work.
The larger drawings and paintings use these sometimes disparate elements, combining them to make unexpected connections and interpretations — unfamiliar combinations of visual language which reflect the precarious structures of meaning we build around ourselves, as well as the tottering edifices which appear to define the modern world.