The Transilluminated Drawings of Bette Burgoyne

Whisper Vapour - Bette Burgoyne
Whisper Vapour – Bette Burgoyne

Bette Burgoyne’s pencil drawings are phantasmagorical reinterpretations of observed and recollected natural phenomena – clouds formations, lichen colonies, mycological growths, and the reflections of light on liquids. Working with a while pencil on black paper, the dense accretions of nebulous lines create a luminous layered effect. Components of dynamic growth, transfiguration, and supernatural movement are implicated.

A post on Burgoyne’s work at A Journey Round My Skull reveals the creative process involved:

‘Similar to jazz improvisation, I begin with a thematic structure while encouraging form and movement to emerge by rubbing and scratching with my pencil. For example, I conceive a drawing with a flexible construct in mind of “smoke” or “waves” or “reflection” and elaborate from there. Impressions from my subconscious collection of trees, water, minerals, and clouds are defined by applying veils and layers of visual information’

A Journey Round My Skull goes on to note similarities between Burgoyne’s drawings and certain works from the surrealists period – The photograms of Max Ernst and the drawings of Hans Bellmer, for example. We are also reminded of certain algorithmic topologies with web-like surfaces appearing to conceal recursive motifs – directing us to three-dimensional fractal forms such as Daniel White’s Mandlebulb.

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