Julia Gorman: Read and React!
SP # 13
Text by Robert Mckenzie
27 x 19 cm
56-page saddle stitch printed CMYK dry toner with Risograph dust jacket and fold-out insert printed in blue & black ink.
1st edition of 80
“Read and react” is a basketball offence invented by Rick Torbett. It is not a set or structured offence but a multi-layered framework for action by the players. I liked the name of it, and the idea of it, especially in relation to Dave Hickey’s great essay, “The Heresy of Zone Defense”, that we all read in the 90’s.
Read and react also fairly accurately describes my own working method. I read and react to a situation comprised of the following elements:
surface, including its size, weight, colour and texture
medium, be that fine-liner pen, very runny ink, blacklead pencil, crayon, pastel, or whatever
the brush or whatever else I am going to use to put the marks on the surface
what I made last
everything else that’s already in the world
The works published here were made over the years 2020-2022. It’s boring to say it I know but I’ll get it over with. Those were the first 3 years of the pandemic. The outside closed down and we were banished into our own interiors. Not very nice some of that time. In a positive way, it changed my sense of how much time to spend on one drawing, and that is something I played around with a lot. Even if my aim was still to create the freshest most spontaneous-looking work possible, using ink with big brushes was too quick. I would finish too soon and use up all my paper and then what? I always try not to overwork my pictures and kill them by doing too much. But in March, April, and May 2020 I felt like I could just keep adding and adding to the little worlds I was trying to create while sitting on my couch at home for hours, days, and weeks on end. In later works, where my sense of time and what I wanted to do with it was different, I used a liner brush and in other series a large mop brush to fill the space as lightly and quickly as I could.
The book is set out in roughly chronological order. It starts with the densest, tightest and darkest, and ends with the loosest and least. There are several different series within the book and then there are a few works that kind of transition between the series.
“Read and React!” is, of course, a hopeful directive from me to the viewer. Every artist wants their work to be seen, and for the work to feel valid we need your response.
Julia Gorman 2023