Assorted Sketchbooks

Donald Rodney

Assorted Sketchbooks, 1983 -1990

Digital Reproductions

These are a selection of pages from the sketchbooks of Donald Rodney, a leading figure in Britain's BLK Art Group of the 1980s, currently in the Tate Archive. Sketchbooks played a central part in Rodney’s artistic output, particularly later on in his life during his battle with sickle cell anaemia. These pages contain an assortment of the artist’s own unique ideas and writings that drove his practice, alongside appropriated images including postcards and newspaper clippings, through which he explored issues of racial identity, masculinity, and representation, and revealed his own personal concerns within the broader sociopolitical context. Time and its visual symbol, in particular the clock, were of great fascination to Rodney, perhaps due to his ongoing illness and physical fragility. Many of his sketches directly relate to the notion of time and temporality, themes which are echoed in slogans incorporated into many sketches including Sign of the Times and Tick Tock Tick Tock.

Courtesy of Tate Archive and the Estate of Donald Rodney