In 2004 Australian artist Peter Bonner embarked on a period of intense drawing. He drew in
New York, the American Southwest and the Australian desert and he drew constantly. Something
altered. A day in the life of the desert held lessons in how to see; memories from his early past
came into the picture. In Bonner’s words: “It’s hard to speak just the right amount of the truth of
what happened and just the right amount of the magnetic, so that people really want to hear about
it— and it’s hard to find a way to do it quickly so the moment isn’t lost—”
In the Australian winter of 2018, an exhibition of Bonner’s drawings took place at the School of Clay
and Art (SoCA) in Melbourne. It provided the occasion for an extraordinary conversation about drawing among a group of Melbourne artists. With the feeling of shared, unfolding experience, A Pilgrim’s Progress documents both exhibition and conversation.