To understand this work in progress it is better to know how the work begins and arrives at this point.
A large untreated canvas to which a very thin white gesso ground is applied. Then a very light outline drawing of every detail of the complete image is made.
This is one of the most difficult parts of the composition to get each detail to be exactly straight or as an exact curve or exactly circular on a more or less raw canvas, with its vertical warp and horizontal weft, does not allow straight, curved or circular lines to be drawn easily.
If you make a mistake you cannot rub it out you have to start again and apply another thin coat of gesso.
Once this stage is complete the different densities of dark and light tones of graphite have to be applied. The same problems arise if you make a mistake.
To apply the graphite it must be soft and have a sharp point to keep the drawing clean and precise within the original drawn lines.
Using very soft graphite causes graphite dust to fall down the canvas and stick to it. It requires many, many graphite sticks to be very sharp so as to minimise the dust and make it possible to draw exact forms. One of the problems is it is only possible to make several marks with one sharp graphite stick before it becomes blunt and it’s necessary to change the stick for a new sharp one.
Entanglement took six months to complete.
It is easier to cut and sculpt marble than draw in this way.
I can only speak for myself but I have found that this is the hardest and most difficult way to create a work that uses the most organic and non-polluting materials I could find.