This is an update on the work of Anthony Hawley, carried out during his time in Gozo in 2017.
During the weeks before the 2017 presidential inauguration, I was preoccupied with what forms of action and engagement to take. I came up with “Drawings for Donald”—a drawing a day for the next 365 days. These began as text-based drawings, ink on paper, each text starting with the words “Dear Donald.” My intention was that they were sometimes funny, often odd, occasionally topical, and that they possessed some poetic intrigue. I wanted these to haunt Donald, to haunt us all into another place; to haunt us out of now.
About two months into the process, a shift occurred—I started drawing on darkroom works I created. After using several different images, my drawing surface became a photograph of the Skorba Temples in Malta—the spare remains of monolithic stones from thousands of years ago. Most days now, I try to use a slightly different version of the Skorba image for my “Drawings for Donald” — manipulated, tweaked, collaged, underexposed, overexposed, etc. The daily repetition of the image helps reflect the uncharacteristic compression of the real, the fake, the truths, and lies. Part of what interests me is the question of what an image can store. How can it expose buried spaces that are daily being shoved aside? How can a broken image open up other kinds of seeing? How can it make room for all the spirits and hungry ghosts?
As our language gets stripped of its nuances, niceties and niches in this current time, we need to keep it supple. If we aren’t custodians of words and images, who will be.