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Conversations on Falling 2018

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'Conversations on Falling' (2018) tells a story about falling. ‘Falling’ can mean lots of things: ‘falling from the sky’, ‘falling in love with someone’, ‘falling out with someone’, ‘falling apart’, ‘to fall for’ (which can mean believing a lie, as well as falling in love). The story in these drawings is about all of these forms of ‘falling’, as it traces conversations between myself and ‘Hendrick’.

So, who on earth is Hendrick? Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) wasan artist who was born in Germany but lived most of his life in Holland. He made four engravings titled 'The Four Disgracers: Icarus, Phaeton, Tantalus, and Ixion' (1588). In the engravings, four figures are shown tumbling through the air and are seen from unusual angles. I came across these engravings in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, and while I was drawing them, I was thinking about impossibility. Firstly, the impossibility of drawing a 'falling' life model – the model would have to be still so that they can be drawn, so they could only lie down and pretend to fall. Secondly, it is impossible for me to talk to Hendrick Golzius about his drawing (because he died in 1617). Finally, 'The Four Disgracers' are classical anatomical studies, and it is impossible for me to create such academic drawings without them being imbued with political and cultural baggage because I am a female, working class, British artist living and working in contemporary Germany.