Past Events

The Energetic Line: The Works on Paper of Ithell Colquhoun

Research Lunch – Jacqui McIntosh

  • 11 November 2022
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • This event is part of the Autumn Research Lunch Series
  • Paul Mellon Centre

This talk will examine the importance of drawing and working on paper to British artist, writer and occultist Ithell Colquhoun (1906–88). Perhaps better known for her paintings, researcher Jacqui McIntosh reappraises Colquhoun’s output, exploring how, for her, drawing was not only a preparatory tool but a space to record ideas and experiences, and through the creation of finished art works, an end in itself.

Focusing on the 1930s and 40s, this talk will consider the encounters and experiences that shaped Colquhoun’s artistic development during this time – from her involvement with the British Surrealist group and interaction with key figures and artists further afield to her increasing involvement with esotericism. It will demonstrate how drawing was an essential and constant presence within Colquhoun’s artistic practice and explore how automatism and working on paper became an integral component in her work.

Listing image caption: Ithell Colquhoun, Cartoon for Self Portrait, c. 1933, watercolour, 57.6 x 28 cm. Collection of Victoria & Albert Museum, London (P.39-1977). Image courtesy of Bridgeman Images

About the speaker

  • Jacqui McIntosh head and shoulders portrait

    Jacqui McIntosh is a writer, researcher and curator based in London. She is Exhibitions Manager at Drawing Room where she contributes to the understanding of the medium of drawing through research, curation of exhibitions, writing, exhibitions management and programming of events. She is part of the British Art Network’s 2022 Emerging Curators Group. She has curated independently and in her current role, including: Drawn Out (2021), Modern Nature (2019), From the Inside Out (2018) at Drawing Room; Figure It Out, Tannery Projects (2017); and See Think Different, a three-year collaborative project between Drawing Room and global media company UBM (2012–2015). Jacqui has a particular interest in artists whose spiritual development has evolved in tandem with their artistic output and worked on the exhibition Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist as Medium (2020) developed by Drawing Room with Hayward Touring. Current research areas include mediumistic and automatic drawing practices and the influence of occult theories in both historical and contemporary art. She has written extensively since 2003 and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). Her writing has appeared in newspapers, art publications and catalogue essays for galleries and artists. Jacqui also has her own artistic practice, working predominantly in drawing, print and collage.