Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts

Gallery 1

Drawing Parallels

Pauline Burbidge & Charles Poulsen 9 April – 10 July 2022

Pauline Burbidge and Charlie Poulsen first exhibited their work together in 1993 at the Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham in Joining Forces. The same year, they married and moved from Nottingham to a steading in the Scottish Borders. There their combined energies have spent years creating a place in which to live and practice. Home, studio, garden, gallery: there is no division between one and other at Allanbank Mill Steading.

…‘Mornings are often dedicated to drawing.’ (PB) ‘I draw from winter to spring.’ (CP). Sketchbooks are essential, the start-point for work. Pauline’s studies are a form of visual thinking that is rooted in observation. Charlie’s seek to capture unseen energies and elements, with the representational consciously avoided even in his titling of work. Both use flattened, map-like, perspectives and scale up initial drawings to create artworks that envelop the viewer.
The increase in size physically immerses the artist in the work, shifting the pivot of movement from wrist to arm. Line is added to line, layer to layer. The engagement is total. This takes discipline, a requirement countered by a parallel desire for abandonment. ‘My work is very process driven. I play games with the grids I mark out in pencil. It can be like automatic drawing. It’s a constant battle between my more organised self and a desire to go a bit wild.’ (CP). ‘The double-sidedness of my quilts is important. I can’t resist showing the reverse. Sometimes I prefer it as the stitching is subconscious.’ (PB)

Curated by June Hill