Andy Black has drawings of around a hundred forms collected together in a small book. Some of these forms are objects from the landscape – trees, bushes, rocks, mountains, lakes. Others are sharp-edged and geometric or more amorphous and blobby. Others are reminiscent of topiary or architecture. All the forms are real in that they obey gravity and are rooted to the ground. These forms (to steal Philip Guston’s idea) are his alphabet. Also in this book are diagrams of how to organise the pictures (plot, island, field, parterre and quincunx) – the syntax of his open-ended series of drawings.
There are other constants too: the paper is white and Andy uses a black brush pen. The forms are plotted onto a perspectival grid so that we have an aerial viewpoint over a territory that recedes deep into the distance. A strong light illuminates the forms casting long dark shadows.
In the studio, with these set constraints and door shut to other variables, Andy constructs drawings of imagined exterior spaces. He thinks of them as drawings of gardens. Some are systematically planned with formal, abstract patterns. Others are allowed to become overgrown where the forms, like weeds, multiply and compete for space.
Current methods of working: Public Commission, Private Commission, Collaboration, Education projects