Kathy Prendergast – City Drawings


I came across these drawings when i was 17. They introduced me to contemporary drawing in a way. I’d never seen anything so delicately drawn. I don’t want to over intellectualise the works, they, (without trying to sound cliched), speak louder than words as it were (hope i got away with that one).  I think i will just describe to you the impact of the drawings on me.
Firstly the process amazed me. what was the point in copying out a map? but actually what Prendergast seems to have achieved is making the map into an image. the image is divorced from its original function – to find your way. I found myself more lost in the lines which would be very difficult to trace a route through. Also the effect she has on a city. I can see the London (where i grew up), in the left image despite its metamorphosis through the drawing. she achieves a sort of reduction or should i say concentration of the city. the streets, the city’s history, geography and personality has all been packed into the small white sheet of paper (31 x 21 cm).  The idea, process and fragility of the drawings to me were inspiring. The small skeletal drawings had a titanic impact on me. All i drew for the next 6 months were maps…





One thought on “Kathy Prendergast – City Drawings

  1. I really like this works cause they look just like you said very delicate and also very organic. It reminds me on my highschool lessons in biology when we learned about the structure and inner life of a leave. I think in the beginning i wouldnt even had realised that this is a copy of a city map. I also feel like I have a very similair work. Since I’m doind the pictures with dots at any point I started to follow the lines and holes between the dots and the end product looks almost like the second piece shown here.

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