Gary Colclough

Gary Colclough

Gary Colclough
Among Trees, coloured pencil, paper, and wood, 24 x 26 x 1.1cm, 2012

A regular train journey I make, takes me out of London and through the common and woodland of Surrey. There's a curious bit of the journey where the train lines intersect and create a small island, a discreet wooded outcrop bordered on all sides by train tracks. I wonder if anyone ever sets foot on this small piece of land. This unremarkable tract of landscape is in some ways wilder than the dense woods and windswept commons that sweep past the window.

I realize l will never walk through this piece of land and in all likelihood I will never walk through any of the trees I view on this journey. I've made this journey hundreds of times now and I've yet to get off before my destination.
Like so many city dwellers I all too often experience the landscape at a remove - through the window, the screen, or the page. 

My journey takes me through Woking, where H.G. Wells lived and wrote War of the Worlds. The town and surrounding area feature heavily in the first part of the book and as the train carries me further into the Surrey countryside I try to imagine it as a backdrop for an invasion and other doomsday scenarios. 

I think I do the same thing every time I look at an image of the landscape; I imagine that fateful discovery that will turn the world upside down. 
Before I make drawings my process begins by searching through existing photographs of the natural world; images of woods I have never walked in and trees I have never seen or touched. I'm looking for a certain ordinariness, a degree of blankness onto which I can project. I willfully misinterpret these images, imagining their stillness as loaded with the potential of imminent action or discovery.
Although, so often the trees obscure nothing but more trees, the seemingly dense bracken only extends as far as the railway siding, or the A-road, sometimes the thing you are looking for just really isn't there. 

Gary Colclough
Edge of the Real (detail), coloured pencil, paper, and wood, 84 x 25 x 1.8cm, 2014

Avant de dessiner, j’engage ma démarche en cherchant parmi les photographies existantes du monde naturel : des images de forêts où je n'ai jamais marché, des images d’arbres que je n'ai jamais vus ou jamais touchés. Je recherche un certain caractère ordinaire, un degré de vacuité sur lequel je peux projeter. Je mésinterprète délibérément ces images, en imaginant leur silence chargé d’un potentiel d'action ou de découverte imminentes.

Je reconstruis ces images comme des dessins, en utilisant le dessin comme un outil de fiction ou tout au moins de doute. Chaque dessin est construit à travers un réseau complexe de signes individuels, qui ne crée pas une ressemblance photographique, mais quelque chose de plus manifestement fait à la main. Travaillant avec plusieurs monochromes, j'essaie d’évoquer des références à la séparation lithographique, mais aussi à des traditions plus romantiques de représentation du paysage, comme les premières illustrations d'histoire naturelle et les tissus imprimés de fabrique.