The drawing project I am currently working on reflects the time we spend on public transport, especially on buses. This is a significant experience for many Londoners yet remains unappreciated, seen merely as necessity, even as a chore. In this project, I magnify this part of our life to focus in on the unrepeatable, ephemeral nature of these journeys – journeys which act as a metaphorical experience for the passengers who take them. I will also emphasise that even within such a highly organised system as TFL, there is room for play. The project also reflects on the connection with man and machine as the drawings are essentially made by the bus facilitated by me, as a human.
My method is to hold the pencil or pen to the paper and as the vehicle moves, it leaves behind an incidental line on the surface, unique to the given ride, like a kind of seismograph. The images become abstract interpretations (or data) of bus routes, the state of the road and even the mood of the driver. I use different types of leftover paper from my stock cut into A5 sheets. I randomly choose the tools described above at each ride to enhance the character of the experience. Each drawing is numbered, with the start and end points of each ride marked.
During the project, I will be making multiple bus rides to cover as many routes as possible. At the end, I will create a large-scale drawing connecting all these journeys on the map of London, which will recapitulate the incidental line work that is presented on the small pictures. Please find the large scale line drawing made by connecting the bus routes through the following link in
Google Earth: https://earth.app.goo.gl/tX7N
I find this project an extremely liberating process, as I never know where the next unplanned bus-ride will take me. I have to go with the flow and I would like to invite the viewer to enjoy the visual result of this practice of mindfulness.