Gemma Thompson



My current practice has been quiet, focussing on the instinctive – my relation to form, to place, my distance, my body moving through a place, the possibility of movement, but also of stillness. I have been intrigued recently about the act of drawing and how to put myself into the drawing.

From drawing to printmaking – I have tried to find the energy but also a stillness, the containment of energy, the root of a form, be it space or figure or both. Working onto a metal plate, searching for a freer approach amongst intaglio processes I embrace unplanned marks that enrich the original observations in the drawing. Attempting to somehow transfer the energy, the stillness, the rhythm and the balance and wonder how I would transpose the same drawing into sound. In pursuing my practice in drawing and printmaking I think of it as a continuation of writing music and composition. I step into a room and normally it is sound that hits me first, distinguishes one form from another.

This past year, to have been given the opportunity to focus on drawing and how that translates to printmaking at the Royal Drawing School on the Drawing Year (graduating December 2019) has opened up new insights for me; working with my hands directly on the paper, sculpting the image from the surface, only to extinguish it, building upon the forms, or to seek out the most minimal of mark and feel strong enough to say that is enough. The idea of sculpting a form from the surface has been recurring, making me think of a sound that dissipates before replaced by another. I have experimented with techniques in the print room that allow for quite a painterly approach – I embrace unplanned marks and try to keep the energy from the original drawings. I look for the rhythm and balance and sometimes wonder how I would transpose the same drawing into sound.


Winner of the Elements Tea & Coffee House Award (2020)