Daily String Drawings

Between 2011 and 2015 this project was conducted everyday. Each daily drawing is an A5 observational drawing. The media used and approach vary widely.

The following is an interview with Henry Ward originally published in “Repeat Repeat” catalogue that explains the project in context:

HW: I understand that this project originally started as an intention to make a daily drawing for a year, could you tell me a little bit about why you wanted to do that?

AC: I have always been prolific when it comes to making things, but amongst the swaths of stuff there is typically little similarity. I was attracted to the idea of drawing in a fixed format for a year. You and I had initially discussed the rules of a year of drawings and it’s interesting to see how things like the date stamp, the boxes and A5 paper makes this feel much more like a series than perhaps some of my other work. 

I’ve tried to unpick these drawings by making others, adjusting the format, removing the date stamp, changing the subject matter and it’s interesting how they don’t hold together as well. I think this series have an inevitability about themselves that I didn’t plan. They just “are”. 
HW: How did you end up fixating on drawing a ball of string?

AC: The early drawings demonstrate my typical restlessness by changing the media, subject and approach each time. I think string stuck as a subject due to it banal malleability. Literally how long is a piece of string? How did each ball of string change over the year of interrogations? A studied object becomes a different object. 

HW: Why did you continue after the intended year came to a close and you had succeeded in making a drawing everyday?

AC: You know what happens when you stop doing something; it stops. The second year was about keeping the the subject and broad approach consistent and seeing what would happen if I carried on. The approach became highly systematised; I would draw, return the drawing and string to the box and photograph the hand that did the drawing. The photographs are really banal with very little variation but a think this tea ritual helped in maintaining this project for an extended period of time. 

HW: Why did you eventually stop, after five years?

AC: I always admired the artists that reinvented themselves and their work. It’s not quite Rauschenberg slashing his silk screens but I value the opportunity to change. Immediately after this project I tried several other drawing projects that withered. I think most of all I wanted to think about what I had made. 

HW: Could you tell me a bit more about how such routine practices form a part of your approach to making things?

AC: I think at the time I used routine as a rudder to navigate the seas of having a stressful life and working without a studio. Today working in my studio as a full time artist I think the routine of daily practice is more about giving oxygen to the work I want to make. I’m interested in making systems that allow me to manage my eclectic tendencies. E