Artist Doug Donley
Medium Coloured pencil on Gessoed Alpharag
Classification drawing
Dimensions 101.6 x 81.3 cm

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Mail is part of Doug Donley’s decade-long project of drawings that place fish in unlikely situations. Often charged with symbolic undercurrents and biblical themes, his compositions make literal the phrase, “like a fish out of water.” Softly rendered in pencil crayon and animated by nuanced shading, the presence of the green sea creature within the postage deposit slot is strikingly assured. Donley denies the fish’s elusivity through the use of bold colour and tightly cropped framing. Anchored in the tradition of metaphysical art, which strives to evoke the uncanniness of the everyday, Mail situates the fish awaiting its send-off somewhere between reality and surreality, somewhere swimming in the estuary of the subconscious. For Donley, “fish leave no shadow for they live only in the imagination.”