Keeping Track of Time, 2021
For much of his life, Philip Brou has maintained practices as both an artist and amateur runner. He runs at least every other day; viewing it as a meditative practice to maintain rhythm in life. Running has been especially important to him in 2021, to help stay grounded during tumultuous times.
This inspired him to make drawings documenting every single one of his runs. The drawings are modestly scaled, 5.625”x10”, roughly the size of the artist’s footprint. They are executed in ink wash, in an amount of time approximately equal to the time it takes him to leave home, go running, and return. The date, which also serves as the title, is written in the lower right corner of each piece. As of August 12, the artist has documented 118 of his runs with an expected total of around 180-drawings by year’s end.
The drawings record locations momentarily encountered while on the move. These locations are often parking lots, views of the road, public boat launches, and other places that are more utilitarian than picturesque. Brou is interested in these types of humble and typically overlookable locations because they allow for more consideration of the processes at work and temporal subject matter such as weather conditions, time of day, and seasonal change.
There is a reciprocity between drawing and running that has emerged in the project. While running, the artist thinks about drawing; keeping his eyes tuned into light and composition. While drawing he thinks about running; rendering visible qualities of cadence and stamina. This confluence blends the physical, metaphorical and meditative processes of drawing and running. Following the metronomic rhythm of running one day and drawing the next allows Brou to stitch together a time that feels otherwise fractured. The artist views the project as a type of clock that processes moments by both running and slowing down; creating a very specific way of keeping track of time.
Each Drawing is:
5.625" x 10"
ink on 140lb. hot pressed Arches Aquarelle