Eraser Drawings


Jonathan Owen
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice Based, drawings, ink, photography


The output consists of a group of fifteen drawings. To make the works, Owen developed and applied a distinctive process involving the careful erasure of ink from found photographic images. Drawing usually involves making marks by adding and accumulating material (graphite, ink, etc.) on a surface. In contrast, Owen's drawings are made purely by erasure; a gradual, irreversible process of removing the ink of the printed image by hand. This series was made using illustrated pages from books on cinema, usually large, ‘coffee table’ publications focusing on a particular genre, director or actor. The books were found and bought online, in bookshops and secondhand shops. In each drawing the central figure, usually an actor or director, is erased. This disables the Focal point of the photograph, bringing a new importance and directing attention to the peripheral details of the image. Drawings from this series have been exhibited in solo exhibitions at:
• Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh, 2016.
• Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India, 2016. And in group exhibitions at:
• Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 2017. • David Totah Gallery, New York, 2018. • Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2019.
Further dissemination of the research has taken place through public lectures given by Owen at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016, and GoMA, Glasgow in 2019. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale had an audience of 582,000 visitors. Twelve of the drawings were included in the monograph, Jonathan Owen, published by Ingleby, Edinburgh in 2016.

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30 May 2024


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All text in this portfolio is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. This means you are free to share and adapt this content provided you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. All images in this portfolio are All Rights Reserved. This means the authors retain copyright over original work and it is not permitted to copy or redistribute these images.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.