Deanna Petherbridge: Drawing as Metaphor

Deanna Petherbridge, The Destruction of Palmyra, 2017 (detail). Pen and ink on paper, triptych, each panel 1420 × 1220 mm. Photography by Stephen White.

In a new series of original texts for Drawing Matter, artist Deanna Petherbridge provides commentary on a number of her recent pen and ink drawings. The drawings use imagined architectural imagery as a metaphorical means to deal with complex subject matter about social and political issues.

Since her initial response to civil war, destroyed cities and enforced migrations through and out of Syria in the triptych The Destruction of the City of Homs (Drawing Matter; Tate Gallery) Petherbridge has embarked on a series of multi-panelled drawings about migrations, walls and barriers and threatened institutions. Her commentary on Crossing the Abyss (2019) can be read in Drawing Matter’s Women Writing Architecture publication or online; this seminal drawing sparked off a series of related works. The Covid-19 pandemic has been her major preoccupation under lockdown, but Petherbridge is hoping that her latest on-going pieces reflecting on pollution, governmental controls and devastated landscapes prove to be the last in the series.

The drawings discussed in these commentaries will be on show at the Art Space Gallery, London N1, in an exhibition titled Deanna Petherbridge: Drawing and the Domain of Politics (25 February – 25 March 2022).

Read the series so far, here.