Aleana Egan: At Intervals, While Turning, The Drawing Room, London, United Kingdom

Aleana Egan, laid flat, shrugwall, 2009
Mild steel, steel rods, split pins
130 x 150 x 1 inches

February 3 – March 13, 2011

The Drawing Room is delighted to announce Aleana Egan’s first solo exhibition in London. Egan will make a new body of work in response to the architectural space and the immediate environs of the Drawing Room.

Drawing forms the starting point of Egan’s work, with a sketchbook providing a repository for the noting down of ideas and experimentation with forms that are developed into autonomous drawings, collages, sculptures and films. Ideas are triggered through observations made during everyday life, but also by memories of childhood experiences and works of literature. Often inchoate, these are atmospheric and sensory triggers that lack narrative definition and carry through into her practice through a subtle and intuitive working process. For example, it was the aura of tightness, a certain tension, that reading Jean Rhy’s novel ‘Good Morning, Midnight’ left her with, and it was this quality that she sought to engender in a sculptural form Character, 2010, although quite different from the drawing that Egan made after reading this story, does retain some of its characteristics.

Her works evolve through a series of stages, with each successive layer gaining a density until the final form emerges, coherent and cogent, yet insistently resisting the stamp of the finite. Her practice is dominated by a meandering, sensuous line which carries through into the fluid way in which her films are made and suggests a condition of flux. When the line is filled to form a plane and to become a receptacle, it is still kept open, to collect snow or rain water, as in, for example, In Their Order of Appearance, 2010, made for the Sculpture Center in New York. Egan often works with very crude materials such as cardboard, plaster and concrete, and her sculptures are painted with carefully mixed, very matt colours. The rawness and openness of the sentiment or idea that triggered the work is embodied by these carefully manipulated materials. Egan does not wish to tell stories or make grand gestures but to find appropriate forms to engender psychological states and memories.

An artists’ book will be published by the Drawing Room to coincide with the exhibition.