RESEARCH: Christine Hiebert

RESEARCH: Christine Hiebert

In my research I discovered the work of Christine Hiebert in ’Vitamin D2-New Perspectives in Drawing’. I then went on to research her work more fully. There were several connections I made in her work with the research I’d been doing into the work of Pierrette Bloch, Richard Tuttle, ‘Gego’ and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The connecting strands seem to be the element of time, materials and their properties, the viewer, and place. Christine Hiebert has an unhurried way of working in her concentration of the process of her work. Drawing is her way of slowing down time. She allows the medium to suggest and guide the outcome. She says she tries to begin a work, empty of ideas so that her thought can be open to what may arise. She comments that “the outcome of a work is always something I didn’t anticipate.” (page 130 – Vit D2) In describing her ‘tape’ work, the writer writes in talking about her process: “the artist has felt her way across the surface.”


Hiebert - rotunda

Hiebert – rotunda

“Every time I start a drawing it’s really a marriage between the medium – the tool that I’m drawing with – the surface and me. It’s very important for me to let the medium reveal itself so that I can learn from it: each medium has a different nature…”

“I’m really looking for each drawing to provide a place for the viewer – a way in, a way to interact with the lines and to stay with them…”




I found that so much of what I read about the motivation behind her work resonated with me. It seemed that her drawings were exploring an unknown and undiscovered space between the past and the present and her refusal to include images or familiar signs removes the security that they may provide.

“If a house is the physical place where I live. Where I feel at home,” she writes, “then my drawings constitute metaphysical houses that allow for the kind of mental living I need to do. That mental living is full of hesitations, fits and starts in my thinking as well as the determination to proceed headlong into something unknown.”  

Living in the drawings…. Drawings are her houses


Hiebert - "Up"

Hiebert – “Up”

Hiebert - Ten Drawings

Hiebert – Ten Drawings

Hiebert - "Current Lines"

Hiebert – “Current Lines”

In 2005, Hiebert was commissioned to make an artwork for Modern Art Museum in Munich… called continuum   …

Continuum does not regret ephemerality

drawing is thinking, and is alive as long

as the thread of a thought is alive, and

as long as the thread continues in another moment,

another state of mind, another form”


Researching her work has added to my understanding of abstraction. I am finding that the abstracted image contains so much more than can be realized in a representational drawing. This ‘more’ is contained in the vast storehouse of the artist’s experience, the willingness to allow for the unknown, the searching for a bigger truth and the confidence to allow the image to continually reveal itself.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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