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Drawn-Out: trace and catharsis

SCA Galleries, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney (AU)

Drawn-Out: trace and catharsis explores the performative act of drawing to encounter intense states of the body as an experience of catharsis. In this sense, the performative process functions as a way to externalise and release repressed emotions rooted in traumatic experiences.

Through an immersive audiovisual installation, depicting a performance mediated for the camera, Drawn-Out: trace and catharsis looks at how the enactment of physical pain which causes suffering has the potential to unite the artist and audience on an emotional level. This installation significantly extends on Leigh’s explorations of audition to amplify the sensory experience of bodily exhaustion. Here she investigates the documentation of sound, by means of audio recording, as a trace of drawing. Accompanying the audiovisual installation is a selection of five text-based drawings from a recent series of one-hundred and sixty-three mono-prints.

By drawing through performance, the traces made by the body in motion can be seen as a writing of the body, evidencing both the time and the sensory experience which form their existence. Drawing, then, is the documentation of an experience. The notion of destruction, prevalent in Leigh’s performances that challenge the body’s limits, intrinsically calls forth the notion of survival. Withstanding self-destruction, violence and pain, even living, is survival; it is the reassertion of strength, power, and resilience. By analysing her own experiences, Leigh’s work discovers that there is also the possibility of the reassertion of control through externalisation and the possibility that the mark and performance allow one to express, recognise and thereby come to terms with bodily and emotional suffering.

Drawn-Out, 2017
Audiovisual installation
One hour durational performance mediated for the camera / 18’42”
Credits: Simon Baré (camera), Michael Orehek (audio), Sarah Laura Hauenstein (video editing)

Photo credit: Dominique Berns-Blackwell

The material traces produced by my performances affirm my existence––reasserting a sense of self––through the workings of my body at a particular functioning state and time.

– B.L.

Brooke Leigh, CAN YOU HEAR ME (Scores series), 2017

Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)

Brooke Leigh, This Silence Is Deafening (Scores series), 2017

Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)

Brooke Leigh, To Feel So Fed Up But To Still Be Starving (Scores series), 2017

Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)

Brooke Leigh, If I Knew How To Escape Don’t You Think I Would? (Scores series), 2017
Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)
Brooke Leigh, RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT ME (Scores series), 2017
Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)
Brooke Leigh, It’s Not Dying I’m Afraid Of It’s Living (Scores series), 2017

Mono-print on notepaper, 335 x 210 mm (framed)