Artist Kieran Lyons lays it on the line at Plymouth University's Peninsula Arts Gallery
REMEMBER taking a line for a walk on sleepy afternoons in primary school art lessons?
That spirit of the line being created but having a life of its own lives on in an exhibition at the Peninsula Arts Gallery.
The results are playful and thoughtful at the same time.
Many of Kieran Lyons' illustrations start "mechanically" in the technical drawing style known from engineering designs.
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"I like to introduce a bit of humanity," he says, "using equipment that does not work very well on paper, making splashes and ink spills, doing whatever I can to take it from a dead straight line."
Sometimes nature lends a helpful, wobbly hand.
One black-and-white drawing was done from a rowing boat on a fast-flowing stretch of the River Wye on the England-Wales border.
"When I look up from the paper to what I was drawing the boat has moved 15 yards down river. The line is pulled away from the original direction. It is being pulled and pushed by the currents."
He likens his own role as that of an automaton. "I treat my eye like a scanner, constantly moving up and down. It's never the same thing informing the eye."
Kieran spent 15 years running the Fine Art department at the University of Wales campus in Newport.
He worked across all the disciplines as a teacher.
As an artist, he was a sculptor but move into drawing.
He currently works with higher degree students at Plymouth University, through the transtechnology research group, which includes historians, philosophers, anthropologists, artists and designers.
His Interference Patterns exhibition covers his exploration of drawing from 1968 to the present with that 'line of travel' as its theme, focusing on the "impulse that attracts a drawn line away from its original direction of travel".
The show, at the Peninsula Arts Gallery in the Roland Levinsky Building, also includes his work in sculpture, installation, animation and digital projection "as a tool to explore the notion of drawing".
His current influence is Marcel Duchamp's first experiments with chance.
The French artist, connected with the Surrealism movement, is probably best known for the sensation he caused by exhibiting a urinal in the name of art.
The liquid theme to Kieran's work is less controversial but still has an element of humour.
Catch it at the gallery from tomorrow to Saturday, April 13.