Ground Level and Zoom

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Cally Trench's drawings

Ground Level

Ground Level (2006-7)is a set of six drawings in ink and acrylic on watercolour paper, each drawing being 76 x 76 cm. The drawings were made from my observations at ground level of the area around where I live, but drawn as maps, using the common map conventions of an overhead viewpoint and an orthogonal projection.

In order to make Ground Level, I took on the persona of an explorer and cartographer, making drawings and notes in a series of sketchbooks while walking around the area. Ground Level was not made using aerial photography, but it shares the overhead viewpoint of satellite surveillance photography of the kind familiar to us from news footage of war zones. It differs from surveillance photography in its very partial account of the land. I did not trespass onto other people's land, and my view was therefore restricted by buildings, natural obstacles, gates, fences and walls. These areas are left blank in Ground Level, and become a kind of map of privacy.

"Gazing at your aerial-view paintings. How lovely they are - such imagination, such care - all that detail. Wonderful!" (Gilly and Alastair Ross, 2018)
Ground Level was exhibited for the first time in the 2007 Central Saint Martins MA Interim Show, at The Bargehouse, South Bank, London. The drawings were also included in Mapping at Bury Art Gallery and Surveillance at South Hill Park, Bracknell in 2007, and in Zoom and Ground Level at Wycombe Museum in 2008.
Ground Level 1 Ground Level 5 Ground Level 6
Ground Level 2 Ground Level 3 Ground Level 4


Zoom (2007) consists of five drawings. Once again taking on the persona of explorer and cartographer, I re-mapped five areas from Ground Level, using some different conventions and symbols. The five small areas are centred on the points of a quincunx (like the symbol for 5 on dice). The areas that I could not actually see at ground level I painted pale blue, a colour reminiscent of the sea in maps and atlases. Each drawing is 78 x 78 cm.

Zoom was exhibited for the first time at the 2007 Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art Degree Show, and was also shown in Geography at the Stroud House Gallery, Stroud, and in Zoom and Ground Level at Wycombe Museum in 2008. Zoom 1 and Zoom 2 were also shown in Invasion of Privacy in Oxford in 2010.
Zoom 1 Zoom 4
Zoom 5
Zoom 3 Zoom 2

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