Charting the zig-zags

06 Apr - 08 Oct 2023

Charting the zig-zags considers the act of drawing in Len Lye’s creative process, particularly the process of 'doodling’ - spontaneous and intuitive sketching - that underpins his multimedia practice.

Lye’s embrace of automatism or involuntary action placed him in the company of Surrealist artists of the twentieth century where techniques of creating without a conscious intention challenged the aesthetics of the time. The idea of tapping into the unconscious mind warmed up the imagination by bringing what Lye called the “old brain” to the artistic fore.

Charting the zig-zags traces how a simple sketch transformed into some of Lye’s more well-known works, such as Free Radicals, and God of Light that feature alongside numerous never-seen before examples of Lye’s experimental drawings, exploratory sketches and creative writing.

Curated by Megan Denz.

Drawing was a central component of Len Lye’s creative process, particularly the process of ‘doodling’. Doodling is a spontaneous and intuitive way of creating without consciousness, taking shape in many forms in free patterns, symbols and random scrawls.