Tezz Kamoen

The Drawing Year 2020
BA Painting, AKI Academy of Art and Design, Netherlands
MA Fine Art, Chelsea School of Art (UAL)


On The Drawing Year you are talking, thinking, researching and practising drawing continuously. You are drawing every day for at least 6 or 7 hours at various locations and then working in your studio alongside that. I studied Painting (BA) and Fine Art (MA) before joining the course, and these degrees were solely studio-based and a lot more conceptual. There were hardly any elements dedicated to drawing or observation to stimulate studio practice – and that is exactly what The Drawing Year is about. It’s been really liberating to be with a bunch of people that have the same focus on drawing; there has always been a lot of sharing information and knowledge amongst our year group. The fact that the course is focussed solely on drawing created interesting conversations that were extremely stimulating.

Transforming Observation - pastels on paper - 2019.jpg 

Transforming Observation, pastel on paper, 2019

I had a pretty set style of working before coming to The Drawing Year. I think you can’t fight the fact your whole approach might change, and it can feel overwhelming. It was certainly overwhelming for me to draw so much from observation and relate everything back to my personal practice somehow. It forced me to break down a lot of steps within my work and analyse what my work needed, what was important and what not. It separates the nonsense from the non-nonsense let’s say!

I also learned to distinguish different purposes within my drawings; is it research, a sketch, preparation for a bigger work or a finished piece? They all ask for something different and I have a much clearer understanding of this now. Before coming to The Drawing Year I used drawing as a form of notation only - not as a ‘stand-alone’ medium. That has changed completely, I now believe my drawings hold themselves as works, as they have adapted to my subject matter.

Labrador Ganache - charcaol on paper - a1.jpg

Labrador Ganache, charcaol on paper, 2020

My practice starts off quite conceptually; driven by sociology and psychoanalysis. I use drawing and my memory as a tool to research a variety of subject matters and to reconstruct personal realities. Our memories are biased in that they are manipulated by all the influences we have daily. At the same time memories are seen as a true representation of the past. I am intrigued by that duality and my drawings analyse social structures, interactions and hierarchies. The beauty of drawing on paper is that everything can continuously change but will always leave a mark behind. Then, depending on the outcome of my previous process, I go on and make more ‘resolved’ images out of these drawings and ideas.

In the class Transforming Observation: Dreaming, Memory and Imagination everything seemed to make sense; the balance between observation and imagination as well as the freedom to utilize the class how I needed to. I made a lot of drawings that I could later use in my studio so that was a really valuable course for me. And I mustn’t forget The Studio Room in Colour! I’ve learned so much about my colour use, and because of this course my main medium is now soft pastels.

 150 x 135 cm - Honey We Shrunk The Kids - Pastels on Paper - 2019.jpg

Honey We Shrunk The Kids, pastels on paper, 2019

Our year group coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic and the School has been so generous dealing with the whole situation. They postponed our deadlines in order for us to get a physical show. We got an extra term as well as having our free studio for almost four months longer than planned. There have been check-ups about how we are doing and there has always been room to have a personal chat if needed. We have kept our community going via all sorts of internet things - WhatsApp, Instagram, and of course everyone’s favourite; Zoom! Luckily, we are still able to use the studio (if you didn’t have to travel too far) so there has been a bit of real life community too.

Melted Angst - Studiowork - 150 cm x 165 cm - pastels on paper - 2020.jpg 
Melted Angst, pastels on paper, 2020

Now that the course is coming to an end, I am very lucky to have been accepted as a Trainee Tutor for the Young Artist programme this year. I am currently in the middle of my first teaching experiences and am making the last works in preparation for our upcoming exhibitions at Christies and the School’s Shoreditch gallery. I have just found a new studio with another Drawing Year student and I will continue my practice after moving out of SPACE studios not long from now. I am looking forward to continuing to teach as well as pushing my practice forward.

A1 - Studio work - Pastels on paper 2020.jpg

Studio work, pastels on paper, 2020