© 2017  Ian Bourgeot


To an extent, the way I draw could be compared with writing. My medium is almost exclusively ink, which I associate with the half-forgotten Western tradition of writing with ink, with a penholder and a nib, or a fountain pen. I grew up recognising the nobility of writing with ink and have from an early age carried a fountain pen with me, in the deceptive belief it would lead me to write books of great weight and consequence. This is also how I first started drawing, or doodling, during university lectures in London and Paris in the early 1980s. Since then, the drawings have grown in size and complexity, but the primary idea and motivation remain unchanged.


I draw fast, and often create relatively large numbers of works in one sitting. Although I am in general solidly in control of my own feelings, thoughts, and actions, I tend to set aside any restraint as I sit down to draw. In this way, my method of drawing might almost be compared to automatic writing. In fact, it could even be said that I draw because I can't (or so it seems to me) write. Drawing to me is a relentless and somewhat maladroit attempt to communicate with my fellow human beings.


The drawings often depict places or moments from my own life. However, they are also detached from my actual life history and express no nostalgia or even a particular opinion for whatever I might have experienced. Yet, I feel that they display quite unabashedly the core of my being. One could perhaps even say that the drawings are the (fictionalised) world I live in.


There are a number of recurrent topics in my works: violence, architecture, the (lost) ancestral home, water, trees and forests. The protagonist of the drawings is often a man, who appears in various roles (stone collector, army officer, tea drinker, builder, Lord of the manor, labourer etc.) and moves between points in time and geography but remains true to form. The continuing theme of my works is the state of utter perplexity in which I usually find myself, when having to face the world.