Libidinal Erasures (The Good/Bad Girl)

Kirsty Buchanan’s practice negotiates a shifting miasma between a performative drawing space which explores both erotic longing and the embarrassment associated with this exploration.

In a libidinal act of abandon she throws herself into the act of drawing sexual encounters (both remembered and imagined) as if throwing herself into the arms of a new lover without forethought or design. “As I draw I don’t want to be too conscious of what I am doing” she says  “ I don’t want to place it too obviously on the page but just to be carried away with it. It is only later that I start to edit”

Re-enacting a teenage moment of shame when her mother found some of her drawings Buchanan then begins the act of rubbing out and “hiding” elements in the drawings, leaving behind traces and hints of the original, The resulting wonky and tentative smudged and erased lines describe the tensions between the good/bad girl dilemma, creating new readings within the work. Taking a position of neither up-front brash ‘let it all hang out’ post feminism nor ‘nicey-nicey’ shy girl, the drawings inhabit a contemporary in-between both extremes.


Alex Michon, November 2009


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