In 2011 and 2012 I was living on on the barren Atlantic coast of Ireland where the weather is an ever present and dominating factor in peoples’ daily lives. From extreme rain to harsh gusting winds, each day I would take the hour walk from my tiny cottage to the studio. I would find myself screaming, laughing, freezing, and soaked on these walks across rock in the middle of nowhere, and I began to imagine all the ways people have “Made Do” here for generations with access to almost nothing. What would I need to know in order to thrive while stranded here?
Essential Knowledge: a series of instructional drawings teaching basic skills for success in challenging situations started off as what I would make when I wasn’t working on my “serious art.” I would work on these drawings at the end of my teaching days before the long dark walk home back across the rock. They were never supposed to go anywhere and now five years later I am still making and learning from each new drawing in this project.
New subjects continue to present them selves as my/our situation changes and evolves: combining research and experience to better understand and share. I have made these drawings while living inBallyvaughan, Ireland, Antwerp, Belgium, and Milwaukee, WI, USA, and as an amateur in many things, including tinkering, parenting, partnering, improvising, survival, and history.
Every couple of weeks I will share one of these drawings on our blog. This is the first Essential Knowledge drawing, made late one night in 2011.