Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Portfolio: • The Freshfields annual exhibition of artworks on paper 2023

Papered Over No. 1

Selected for the Freshfields annual exhibition of artworks on paper
January - December 2023
100 Bishopsgate EC2P 2SR

Papered Over No. 1 is on show in this prestigious in-house exhibition at the London headquarters of the international law firm Freshfields. More than 90 works of art will be exhibited across eleven working floors through the year. The exhibition is organised by the specialist art consultancy Art Acumen, who work with private collectors and corporate clients to curate collections and stage exhibitions.

No. 1 was one of two new large monochrome drawings featured in my solo exhibition 'Pale Grey Castle' at The Old Court artspace, Windsor in the summer of 2020. It marked the beginning of a new direction for my art.

I had been looking for a way to combine my love of layers, grid structure, mark-making and patterns. It was also important that the drawing should have a tonal range from dense black to white. As I cast an eye around the studio for the paper best suited to this project, I remembered my stash of uncut litho-printed pages from my Windsor Emporium Sketchbook.

In 2013 I had commissioned Vision Litho to design and produce The Windsor Emporium Sketchbook, a small limited edition book of drawings I had made over the course of a year under the chandeliers of Windsor's historic Guildhall. My subjects were the visitors and vendors of the Windsor Emporium, a monthly artist-and-artisan fair featuring handmade and collectible goods. Thus began my habit of returning to the same location, month after to month, to draw for hours at a time.

When I took delivery of the beautifully designed Windsor Emporium Sketchbooks, I discovered the printer had very kindly sent surplus uncut A1 pages, my Windsor Emporium sketches printed on both sides -- perfect for the project that became Papered Over.

The idea was to cover the page with marks in ink and pencil so that all that remains of the printed imagery is an impression that there is more to the artwork than what one sees on the surface. This took me some time, and as the new drawing spread across reproductions of my eight year old sketches, I thought about past and present, and the way things that have gone before influence what we do today.

Ink, pencil and charcoal on litho-printed paper
50cm x 52.5cm