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Posted: June 4, 2022

One-line Drawing Project occurring in Kimberley

Kimberley based artist Rico was born in a house filled with her father’s paintings in Japan and she started drawing when she was just a baby. Since then, she has been working naturally with various techniques like drawing, painting and paper collage.

Rico received a BA in Visual Communication Design from Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan in 2006, and a BA in Fine Arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her artwork has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries in Japan, The Netherlands, and Canada, and she has taught workshops in Japan and Canada.

When asked what aspect of her art Rico likes best, she said: “To represent ordinary things, such as a tree, a building, and people on the street in an original, positive, and colourful way. Exploring new techniques and subject matter, and seeing the unexpected finished work gives me the most pleasure in creating art.”

For her art book project called “One Line,” Rico creates one-line drawings on long pieces of paper that form an accordion book. While walking around, she draws what she sees by using a single line without lifting her pen and she uses watercolour paint to make these drawings come to life.

Rico started creating one-line drawings about 13 years ago on the way from her house to the hospital to visit her beloved grandmother. She walked around and drew what she saw on the street, train and also in the hospital. Seeing the book that she made during the trip to visit her grandmother was quite an interesting experience for her.

According to Rico, the one-line drawing book is a curious reminder of the feeling of temperature, light, and walking speed when drawing. They contain certain memories of the flow of the time and space she travelled around in.

One-line drawing is Rico’s version of taking photographs, but they give a totally different experience. She has made about 40 accordion books and also illustrated a picture book “Cinnamon Bear Comes to Town” with the one-line drawing technique.

The longest book Rico has made is 18 feet long. It is about her vacation in 2016. It started in Canada where she lives and moved to Iceland, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech, Japan and came back to Canada.

“I am obsessed with creating art and curious about what I will create next,” Rico said.

Rico’s one-line drawings are being showcased at Kimberley’s new art gallery: Art Gallery Kimberley, during the month of June.

According to art gallery owner Irma de Visser, Rico’s long accordion books make for an original, interesting, and funky art display.

“The display structure includes a clothes line and ironing boards which may seem odd, but is actually appropriate since Art Gallery Kimberley is housed at ‘The Laundromat,’ where several remnants of the old laundry facilities were incorporated into the art gallery to represent the history of the building,” she noted.

As part of her solo art exhibition, Rico is providing two long rolls of drawing paper and she is inviting everyone to join in on the fun by participating in the Community One-line Drawing Project.

People visiting the art gallery are encouraged to draw what they like with their favourite writing tool, starting at the end of the line that was drawn by the previous person and stop their drawing whenever they want for the next person to continue with their own one-line drawing. Rico’s goal for this fun community project is connecting with people through one line on paper without seeing and knowing each other.

“We will share the same space but not at the same time. It’s a special space to feel free to draw and connect with other people in the community,” she said.

Irma points out that visitors can be a little intimidated by the challenge of drawing “something” using just one line, or drawing “something” period. She said, “It is surprisingly easy and fun once you get over that first hurdle and I invite everyone to leave their fear at the door and give it a try. It’s addictive!

“I challenge everyone to help us create the longest one-line drawing in the history of Kimberley.”

Rico will be giving a one-line drawing demonstration at the art gallery on Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. (no registration required).


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