Image: Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture, Private View © The Lightbox

Our Main Gallery exhibition, Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture, explores the fascinating relationship between drawing, sculpture, and how the two art forms work together. We sat down with Guest Curator Caroline Worthington, Director of Royal Society of Sculptors, to get the inside scoop into how she developed this exhibition from scratch.

Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture brings together ten modern British sculptures from The Ingram Collection alongside nearly eighty drawings by members of the Society. Exploring the intersection between the two, the exhibition switches back and forth between the two art forms, looking at their specific role in the development of artists’ practices.

Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture, Private View © The Lightbox

First of all, please could you tell us a bit about the Royal Society of Sculptors and your role within the organisation?

The Royal Society of Sculptors is an artist led, membership organisation. We support and connect sculptors throughout their careers and lead the conversation about sculpture today through exhibitions and events for all. The Society was created more than 100 years ago to champion contemporary sculpture and the artists who create it. Today we welcome everyone interested in exploring this art form and its many possibilities.

We are based in London’s South Kensington, a few minutes' walk from its great museums, in a beautiful listed building called Dora House. We invite our audience to view the world from a different perspective, to dig deep into the practice of individual sculptors and to challenge their own way of thinking.

The Society provides a supportive membership community to sculptors throughout their careers, offering access to expert advice, training, bursaries, residencies and awards. 

In Parallel Lines, Society members have responded to works from The Ingram Collection. How did the idea of the exhibition come to life?

I was invited by Jo Baring, Director/Curator of The Ingram Collection, to develop the summer show at The Lightbox. As a membership organisation, we're always looking for new ways to raise the profile of the Society and to showcase members’ work and so this seemed like a great opportunity. The idea of pairing works from The Ingram Collection with members' drawings also plays into the Society's mission statement which is to lead the conversation about contemporary sculpture.

Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture, Exhibition View © The Lightbox

Was there an open call for artists to submit their work? How did the whole selection process go and how many works are on display at the moment?

As this was a members' only opportunity, we told them about it via their weekly e-newsletter. I had already selected the sculptures from The Ingram Collection for the show and our members were asked to submit work that they had made in response to those sculptures.

Some members chose to submit two or three works in response to different sculptures in the collection. I’m delighted that every member who submitted work for the show is represented at The Lightbox.

Generally, sculptors use drawing as part of a preparatory process. In what way do you feel this exhibition brings together the two mediums and explores this connection between them?

I find sculptors drawings fascinating – not least because they are rarely shown. Nearly all the sculptors I know draw either for pleasure or to problem-solve in relation to their sculptural practice. 

I have enjoyed talking to our members about their drawings for the show at The Lightbox. Several have said to me they have enjoyed the excuse to revisit drawing and for some it has moved their sculptural thinking on.

Parallel Lines: Sculpture and Drawing, Exhibition View, Dora House. Courtesy of Royal Society of Sculptors

A twin exhibition with the same name was open at Dora House until 13 July. Can you tell us what it was about and how it linked with Parallel Lines at The Lightbox?

For Parallel Lines: Sculpture and Drawing, I chose drawings by sculptors in The Ingram Collection and paired them with work drawings by contemporary sculptors, such as Laura Ford, Tania Kovats and Susie MacMurray. The exhibition also included work by a sculptor I came across last year in Marfa, Texas, named Susan York. The Dora House show was a companion one, so not only were the works in both venues in conversation, but the shows were also in conversation with each other.

Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture is on display until 25 August. Visitors can view the exhibition with a £5 Day Pass or £7.50 Annual Pass. Under 18s go free. Find out more information about our upcoming exhibitions here.