Francis Quinn and Fintan Ryan began their collaborative project Archimedes Last Drawing in 2010 as a place to explore their mutual interest in drawing. Looking at the artists’ work their imagery is clearly not based on factual stories. The scenes follow their own internal logic, creating a narrative, and a reality, within the frame of the picture. As their practice evolved these micro-narratives have combined and interacted, growing into a greater mythology, which in turn has generated further ideas and narratives for the pair to explore.
The artists favour a process that avoids predetermination. They layer image upon image until narratives begin to naturally occur. There are elements in almost all of the teams projects that traverse different contexts and appropriate diverse references- from scientific diagrams to war imagery, myths to comic books- inventing a new world with its own logic and history. The artists’ willingness to merge these artistic disciplines and cultural references highlights the ever-decreasing boundary between high and low culture.
A sense of dialogue is implicit in the act of drawing, which is traditionally considered to be intimate and introspective by nature. The artists play with this idea in a number of ways; creating large-scale drawings in public spaces forcing this personal act to become public; inviting unknown and uncontrollable elements such as school children to contribute to the drawings; allowing the architectural environment of the space to guide them, dictating the scale and layout of their drawings as they work around, through, over and under doorways, pillars, windows, fire alarms. By encouraging and embracing these unknown elements the artists display a flexible and improvisational ability, strengths they share with drawing, making it the perfect medium for their practice.