Issue 166, Summer 2003
Dawn Clements doesn’t necessarily intend her drawings to become panoramic in scale. She begins with small pieces of paper and draws in ballpoint pen, or paints in black ink, a slice of what she sees; in particular, her own domestic environment, or interiors and characters from film and melodrama. But sometimes these small works don’t seem complete, so she glues another section of paper to the drawing and continues. This can go on for weeks, months, or years, resulting in drawings ranging in size from eleven feet in diameter to seventy-two feet in length.
For the piece that follows, Clements drew, over the course of one year, those two rooms of her Brooklyn railroad apartment, from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. As the drawing grew in scale she continued folding it into a manageable size, the process of folding and unfolding adding wear and tear. To get every angle she found herself in awkward positions, such as sitting in the tub or crouched in a comer. The finished twenty-six-foot drawing is a flattened-out version of her kitchen and bathroom as seen from multiple view points that result in odd distortions of perspective.
—Susan J. Swenson