The Colouring Book – Stephen Andrews

The Colouring Book

Talks at the InterAmericas Space of the Caribbean Contemporary Art (CCA7), Trinidad, West Indies

The Canada Council artist in residence, Stephen Andrews applies an idiosyncratic method of transferring images on paper. At a distance it appears to be colour halftone using the reproduction process of four colours, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This actually is intentional and Mr. Andrews’ focus is to render an image that seems to be in print. A rubbing from a screen is convincing enough to be fooled with a basic crayon as its pigment.

A common site in Trinidad and Tobago, car accidents, four colour job

The subject of these drawings is the aftermath of an accident. A common thread runs through this work and that is moment of death. Light is projected as if one is blinded or caught by the headlamp of a car. In one drawing, a deer is stunned by the approaching vehicle, decisions of life and death immortalized at a moment’s heartbeat. There are stills from the American / Iraq conflict and Mr. Andrews has selected a human approach to an inhuman act, capturing through his mechanical rendering a moment where the viewer can have introspect from the banal media coverage that colours the horror, and as the Artist laments, a spreading fire that is unable to distinguish.

A spreading fire, spool x 600 frames

A short animation was also shown at this talk, six hundred drawings using the same technique of reproduction were executed to loop a one-minute news film clip about the war in Iraq. The physical texture in the overlapping frames is quite emotional and as in the work, the thoughts of the solder using a fire distinguisher to dampen the flames of a burning body, we asked ourselves? “What is this conflict really about?”

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