Kelly Cumberland

Vestigium Pulvis


20 October - 16 December 2022


Blenheim Walk (Research Cabinets)

Visiting hours

10:00am-4:00pm Monday to Friday (appointment only)

Location: Blenheim Walk (Research Cabinets), Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk, Leeds LS2 9AQ

This exhibition is available to view from 10:00am-4:00pm Monday to Friday by appointment only for external visitors. Please email to make an appointment. Staff and students are not required to make an appointment.

Cumberland’s research project brings together six site-responsive drawings across the cabinet spaces, reintroducing previous recordings of dust, collected during the Covid-19 pandemic, as an overlooked material archive.

Within these designated spaces, biomorphic elements reference naturally occurring patterns reminiscent of nature and living organisms. The repetitive, systematic methods, linking viral and cellular referents, are manipulated from 2D to 3D drawings.

Responding to the format of each cabinet, this research explores the nature of seriality and how the support is intrinsic to the drawing. Questioning when a drawing becomes object and demonstrating how something seemingly delicate and insubstantial can overwhelm its environment, the drawings represent the paradoxical fragility and strength of microbiological structures. Through employing 'tracing' and sequential methods of reproduction, the work plays host to its own systems of entropy and syntropy, reflecting spatial and cognitive thinking. The work reveals how drawing is expanded through space, place, form, process, materials and meaning.

These drawings inhabit space and, in doing so, create a visual dialogue with their surroundings, introducing a very particular sense of place and the complex relationships between repetition, reproduction and difference, and its manifestations as artistic practice. Continuous addition and removal, (re)production and reduction result in a coherent body of structural variations as a record of time and the constant cycle of microscopic life.

The focus to this body of work is an exploration of expanded drawing and how scientific methodologies and approaches can influence material choices, techniques, aesthetics and processes. Intrinsic to this research is the concept of making the invisible visible through expanded drawing practices.

Kelly Cumberland is an artist and academic, exhibiting nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions in Mexico and Palma de Mallorca.

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