I do drawings in series, as project ideas, working a theme from
the sub-narrative or unpredictable edges. I define a drawing that
works as one that cannot be used to protect oneself from one's
own sense of wit.
I think the social or political begins to live in a drawing through
unexpected situations, allowing one to savor a small fragment of
context. The acceptance of numbness from over stimulation by a
contemporary issue is a facing of the page. It's a daily page made
of rag and paralysis waiting for the stumbling of a wet brush.
The act of trying to feel something that is at least alive in the
hand. A drawing diary against the blunting flow of information
too cleaned and trimmed to support the weight of its own absurdity.
The current series is about Artillery. The world of iron, the
love of the cannon, the big gun. The way in which it has become
rather like shopping for a new way to blow something up, with all
the extra's and air conditioning, and even a shell can have a little
brain hunting its target in flight.
Since 1970, Roger Clay Palmer has produced poetry, paintings,
installations, and a large body of drawings. He grew up on
a ranch in Florida listening to family members tell stories, and
his work reflects his love of Southern oral tradition. Strongly
affected by his experiences in the army before being discharged
as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war, he often focuses
on the dark side of current events. Six weeks in Japan in 1985
deeply affected his work; as with Japanese haiga and Zenga,
words are an indispensable component of his brush and wash
or ink drawings.
His installations of drawings and artifacts have been shown in
such venues as Diverseworks in Houston (solo and group shows), NEXUS
in Atlanta, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winsten-Salem,
NC, Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL., Jacksonville Museum of Art,
FL; Tampa Museum of Art; and Ringling (FL) Museum of Art,
which purchased an installation for their permanent collection.
He has received a regional NEA Grant, two Florida Individual Artists
grants, as well as grants to do installations at Miami Waves Film
Festival, Nexus, and The Artists' Alliance in Tampa, FL. He participated
in a NEA funded collaborative performance work, "Smarter than
Dogs", and a collaborative project with PWA’s which
traveled to Miami and Orlando. He has self-published 3 books,
one of which ( The Inheritance and Other Stories ") is archived
at Franklin Furnace, NYC and has had poetry and/or images
published in Sonoma Review (U. of Arizona), the Journal of the
NEA, and Tabloid Magazine. In 2008, he had a solo show “In
Dog Light” at USF Contemporary Art Museum, and was in “Dark
Poets” at Maryland Institute College of Art’s Decker
He works reclusively, often in a cabin he hand built in Ozello, FL.