2017 – Just Drawing This Line

A process / project exploring the line between studio practice and exhibiting / performing, as well as contemplating the motive forces behind an artistic practice. It’s a built up structure and situation to fuel up intense bodily work, as it feels urgent but hard to reach at times, by making it visible and accessible. It’s also just a studio practice, giving space and opportunity for anything to appear or happen and change directions.



Opening ceremony / performance “Just Drawing This Line”. 40 min. Garden of Margaret van Eyck Academie. Photos: Eun Lee.

26.6.2017 via van Eyck e-mail:


Hello everyone!

With this letter I’d like to share some thoughts, introduce a project
and invite you all 

to the garden in front of the Wilhelmina Minis-van 
de Geijn Lab to follow a performance ”Just Drawing This Line” 
at 17.30 this Wednesday 28th of June.
Duration of the performance is 40 minutes.

It's a spontaneous try-out and a small opening ceremony for 
"a project" through which I explore the line between studio work 
and exhibiting, and contemplate the motive forces of an artistic 
practice. The project is not really an event or even a project, 
it is just a visible ongoing process of my studio practice. 
And then again it is an event as I’m inviting you to watch what 
I’m doing and that will undoubtedly change my actions.

This idea came up as a result of just selfish wondering how to go 
on in my work. I’ve felt being a bit stuck after the Open Studios, 
thinking what to do with all this time just working on my own with 
not so many ideas and no deadlines ahead in a very near future. 
It also feels wrong that the artistic work would be meaningful only 
when doing it for an exhibition. But it is true that my energy and 
focus is much higher and stronger under those circumstances and 
this kind of luxurious freedom and time I’m enjoying at the moment 
can make me lazy in a frustrating way. Though it was also needed 
for this idea to cook up and makes sense as I often find myself 
starting from ”nothing”.

So after many months staying with this uncomfortable feeling and 
spending my time in the studio not doing much I decided to built 
a structure that I hope will push me to enter some new unknown 
areas through physical practice of drawing. And what comes to 
the invitation, part of this structure is making it visible and 
accessible for you. That means I will keep my door open and let 
you in. I’ll be happy if you want to drop by and have a quick look 
or sit down and take your time, have a coffee break or whatever you 
like. I have no idea what is going to happen, so it’ll be a surprise.
It’s very exciting, but it’s also horrifying to show this 
insecurity to others. 

I miss the certain feeling of risk taking, openness and drive, 
being a bit scared if it’s going to be just embarrassing, but at 
the same time you feel you have to do it anyway. And I need an 
intense physical work, using the body, making things with hands, 
repetition, and then discipline and a situation that pushes me 
to do it. This realization might have come up here at van Eyck 
because of time and freedom, but I guess also because of the 
institute. From the beginning of my residency I’ve had a feeling 
that van Eyck is quite focused on thinking, analyzing and research. 
In this environment the need of bodily practice has somehow quite 
naturally become more and more clear and urgent for me. 

Well, this this letter turned out to be way too long and slightly 
dramatic so thank you for your patience and warmly welcome to the 
garden on Wednesday evening and to step into my studio 201 
whenever the door is open and you feel like it, starting from 
Monday 3rd of July. I haven’t set an ending date so this will go 
on until I decide to stop, including some traveling breaks in 
between. Maybe I’ll set more specific schedule later or not, but 
let this be the first announcement and invitation. I’d be very 
happy also to hear your experiences and thoughts on these topics 
adduced above.

best wishes,

(In the end I’d like to share a short quotation from the book 
”The Zen Path Through Depression” by Philip Martin as I think it 
fits well:

”In Buddhism the body is rightly perceived as the means through 
which we achieve enlightenment. Yet our technology aims 
increasingly at making the body obsolete. Today we often ignore 
one of our bodies' most basic needs, the need to be of use. 
We drive instead of walking. We get takeout instead of cooking. 
We throw our soiled dishes in a dishwasher. We shave quickly with 
an electric razor rather than feel the pleasure of a lather 
brush against our face, the weight of a razor in our hand. 
These and other devices are sold to us with the promise of making 
a pleasure out of what was once drudgery. In fact, all they do 
is make these tasks faster; the tasks themselves remain neither 
pleasure nor drudgery. The real pleasure lies in the activity, 
in feeling mindfully the sensations of doing just that activity 
— in doing just what we are doing, so wholeheartedly, so fully, 
that the simple activity fills the whole universe.”)


© Maria Pääkkönen