A rhizome way of thinking
Rhizomes Versus Trees is a theory put forward by Giles Deleuze that articulated a shift I was going through in my drawing. I had been doing horizontal drawings of tree shadows when gradually the ground beneath my paper began to asset itself. I became fascinated in the way that grasses travelled in every direction; they had roots burrowing down, tendrils traversing the surface and stems sprouting into the air. They operated in the way I wanted my drawings to operate; they travel across and open up the surface but they could also reach out into the world of the viewer and include them in their system of operation. They also included the history and political systems reflected on Gundaroo Common, my subject at the time.
Deleuze formulated the framework of rhizomes in order to break away from the western tradition of binary logic to what he thinks of as a more natural system. He states that a rhizome model allows for travel in every direction rather than in a linear fashion “It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion.” Not only did this apply literally to my drawings on the common, it also refereed to my overall ambition of entering into a cross-cultural dialogue with Indigenous Australians.
In this blog I will discuss images and processes that follow a rhizome model. From the process and development of my research on the site of Gundaroo Common I will show how it responds to propositions seen in the work of artists from different cultures. As Deleuze comments “A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences and social struggles”. In this way I aim to investigate connections with other artists and continue to engage in a dialogue through the Visual Arts.