The drawing project I am currently working on reflects on the time we spend on public transport, especially on buses. This is a significant experience for many Londoners, still, it remains unappreciated, seen merely as a necessity, even a chore. In this project, I magnify this part of our life and focus in on the unrepeatable, ephemeral nature of these everyday journeys as a practice of mindfulness.
It grew out from a mail-art idea with a friend from Budapest in 2016. Then, looking at London post cards, and the double-deckers, I thought that as a theme they embody the idea of journey and of course, they are iconic features of London.
Public transport is somewhat the real social network, physically connecting people and spaces, although the actual act of travel is a very lonely experience. All bus journeys seem the same, yet they represent a large chunk of time of our day that never comes back. Because of these qualities, it is a unique mental and physical space providing platform to think about the here and now.
During the assignment, I take on the role of the lonely passenger to honour the time and effort that goes into a daily commute. I follow a string of unplanned routes, getting on and off at arbitrary stops, and taking the first route that arrives.
My method explores the possibilities of kinetic art; as the pencil/pen follows the movement of the vehicle on the paper, the line drawings become abstract (self)portraits of bus routes, incorporating information regarding the motion. The bus itself takes part in the process as an actual drawing machine, as I facilitate the birth of the line drawing, to create so-called movement maps. To highlight the unique nature of these journeys I use different types of leftover paper, and accidentally choose the drawing tools at each ride to enhance the character of the experience.
In the end, I am planning to connect each of these routes on the map of London to achieve a continuous line as a summary of all the smaller drawings and to see whether the nature of the line-work of the small drawings would be reciprocated on the London map - as leaves reflect the tree itself. This acts as a little experiment with the highly organised system that is TFL, to see how playful I can get going by their rules and using their facilities.
This is an extremely liberating process, as I never know where the next unplanned bus-ride will take me. I have to go with the flow and I would like to invite the viewer to enjoy the visual results of this long-haul investigation.