Winter 2007–2008

Artist Project / Tree Drawings

The limbs limn

Tim Knowles

The works presented below are part of a wider practice in which I utilize apparatuses, mechanisms, or systems beyond my control to introduce chance into the production of my art. The pieces here are from a series produced by trees, most of which are located in the Borrowdale and Buttermere areas of England’s Lake District. I attach artists’ sketching pens to their branches and then place sheets of paper in such a way that the trees’ natural motions—as well as their moments of stillness—are recorded. Like signatures, each drawing reveals something about the different qualities and characteristics of the various trees as they sway in the breeze: the relaxed, fluid line of an oak; the delicate, tentative touch of a larch; a hawthorn’s stiff, slightly neurotic scratches. Process is key to my work, so each Tree Drawing is accompanied by a photograph or video documenting the location and manner of its creation.

Larch (4 pen) on Easel #1, The How, Borrowdale, Cumbria, 2005. Above: C-Type print; below: ink on paper (detail).
Oak on Easel #1, Stonethwaite Beck, Smithymire Island, Borrowdale, Cumbria, 2005. Above: C-Type print; below: ink on paper (detail).

Tim Knowles is an artist based in London. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in the UK and abroad, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Hayward Gallery touring exhibition You’ll Never Know. In 2007, he completed a series of new works in collaboration with the Royal Mail. He has been commissioned by the Contemporary Art Society and the Economist to produce a new work for the Economist Plaza in February 2008.

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