DRAWOLOGY: THE DRAWN OF THE DRAWING? Drawing through mark and erasure, delineating in the trace: the movements of body; thought; the drawn of the drawing| |trace = phenomenology? Outlined with this perspective, drawology was curated with the aim of investigating the premise â€˜drawing is phenomenologyâ€™ with tonal emphasis on whether this proposition is traceable in a specific process or genre of drawing or whether it blemishes drawing generally.
First shown at the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham in 2013, drawology drew upon the surface of several artists: Shaun Belcher; Sian Bowen; Patricia Cain; Rachael Colley; David Connearn; Paul Fieldsend-Danks; Maryclare Foá; Paul Gough; Joe Graham; Simón Granell; Deborah Harty; Claude Heath; humhyphenhum; humhyphenhumha; Martin Lewis; Juliet MacDonald; Lucy O’Donnell; Andrew Pepper; Bill Prosser; and Karen Wallis, with drawing practices wandering a phenomenological line through differing shades of process and genre. drawology was further marked during the opening of the exhibition with Jordan McKenzie’s charcoal dust laden performance: Drawing Breath. drawology trails the field of contemporary fine art drawing tracing the breadth of current drawing practices within an expanded field, i.e. that which is not defined by specific media. Within this outline, the exhibition’s composition collages: drawings on paper (Heath, Connearn, Gough, Prosser, Graham, Belcher, Granell, FieldsendDanks); performance (Foá, Lewis); sound (O’Donnell, Foá); installation (Harty, Colley, humhyphenhum); digital / moving image (Bowen, MacDonald, humhyphenhumha, Wallis); collage, perforations and light (Bowen); and holography (Pepper). drawology is erased and redrawn for the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry 2014: a retracing of drawology’s outline. Traces of erasure remain in the surface, whilst new marks from those retracing, and further lines, shades and tones from John Devane; Maryclare Foá in collaboration with Birgitta Hosea; Jill Journeaux; and Jonathan Waller are layered into the composition: drawology: one year on*.
Deborah Harty 2014
*drawology & drawology: one year on are curated by Deborah Harty as part of a wider research project entitled ‘drawing is phenomenology’. The practice-led research utilises drawing, theory and philosophy as a means to test out this premise. For further details of ‘drawing is phenomenology, please see: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/ microsites/sota/tracey/space/projects/phenom/dh1.html
Shaun Belcher: Memory Sequences. Each of these three drawings form part of a sequence of improvised actions digging into my own personal stock of visual tropes, clichés and metaphors built up over my creative drawing life. This record of the activity of daily sequential drawing in 2013 investigated just how recurrent symbols lay embedded in my subconscious and were repeated through this iterative activity. I also attempted one drawing ‘blind’ so completely removing a conscious drawn prefiguration.
This drawing project linked in particular to my interest in the drawings of Juan Miro, Arshile Gorky and Paul Klee. In this process I also propose there may be a linkage to Heidegger’s notion of ‘subjective truth’ and Merleau-Ponty’s concept of embodied knowledge. My wider drawing practice through a recent M.A. in Fine Art has encompassed investigations of art research theory through sequential cartoons ( Frayling’s Categories) and ‘re-drawing’ a famous sequence (Hogarth through Hockney’s Rakes
Progress). This in turn has led to an illustrative commission for James Elkin’s 2nd edition of ‘Artists and PhDs’ where I have attempted to re-present art theory as info-graphics. My drawing practice fits into a wider context through my concurrent activity in art research / art criticism / cartooning and writing (poetry).
All pen and ink drawings on paper 50cm x 44 cm April and May 2013 Opposite: ‘Pissed Off’ Drawing Left: ‘Blind’ Drawing Right: ‘Nostalgia’ Drawing
SIÂN BOWEN www.trinitycontemporary.com bowenatrijksmuseum.wordpress.com
Still from “Silent Freeze/ Mirrored I”, video, 15 minutes, 2009-11
Siân Bowen is an artist based in Northumberland and Reader in Fine Art, Northumbria University. “Central concerns are ways in which drawing can reveal thought through touch and the relationship between the body, the space in which it exists and the trace of mark-making. This echoes Merleau-Ponty’s premise that the body is a mediator between self and the world and that drawing has the ability to record the trace of movement and thought. I have often employed repetition in my drawings as a means to reflect on and in turn reflect, these ideas. The works that are included in this exhibition were created over a twoyear period as Guest Artist in Drawing at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (AHRC Research Grant). Some three hundred Renaissance prints, which, having lain frozen in the Arctic for three centuries, provided opportunities to explore the relationship between materiality of drawing and the ephemeral. The prints were carried as merchandise on a
1596 failed Dutch expedition to China. An over-wintering refuge on Nova Zembla housed these stacks until their discovery: they had been transformed into papier-mâché blocks. In 1977, methods were devised to reassemble the thousands of fragments. During the initial stage of the project I retraced part of the route of the original expedition and filmed this journey through the fragmented icepack as it was reflected in a replica ‘Claude glass’. This resulted in a video work, “Silent Freeze/Mirrored I” which was instrumental in the making of three distinct groups of drawings - the production of which involved acts of dusting with tarnished silver and repetitively piercing bespoke hemp papers.”
Top: Detail from “Silent Freeze/Mirrored II”, pinpricks in bespoke hemp paper with watermarks, from series of 25, 70x50cm, 2010-11. Bottom: Detail from “Silent Freeze/Mirrored II”, tarnished silver dust on bespoke hemp paper with watermarks, from series of 25, 70x50cm, 2010-11.
Winner of both Threadneedle and Aspect painting prizes, and finalist in the Arte Laguna 2013 Prize, Patricia Cain is a recent recipient of the RSA Kinross Scholarship, the RSW Hospitalfield Residency, and the RSA Barns-Graham Residency.
‘I think that drawing and painting, architecture, lithography, illustration…all the arts, are dependent on being able to draw. I think that’s the one first…you must be able to draw, you must be able to sign your name on a cheque or letter. The moment you do that, you’re starting to draw… I am part of nature and nature is part of me: it’s a unity. When the wind blows cold, I feel it. When the sun comes out, I feel it. When I put the paint on there, I feel it, but I put the paint on it. It’s a unity. It’s an absence up to a certain level, of the material world. You must avoid the intellect thing - you can’t think about it and you can’t analyse about it….you kind of just have to undo yourself, accept yourself, to relax yourself to let it come out of yourself. It’s a kind of being…a becoming…this is what art is of course…’
William Johnstone (1975) in the film, I see the Image Accessed on 08.08.14 at ssa.nls.uk/film/5792
Rachael Colley is an artist, currently lecturing in Jewellery Design and Related Products at Birmingham City University.
metalworking (wire-drawing) and carpentry (chalk line), re-presenting the historic social signifier in a satirical and narrative way.
Colley’s practice explores the fleeting and complex nature of human existence, predominantly using jewellery and regalia as modes of expression. drawology presented Shadow, a drawing created by a specifically designed ‘tool’ titled Drawing on the past. The tool creates lines on the body with the intention of undermining the alignment and measured symbolism associated with the traditional terms of matrimonial engagement. The tool’s design draws on traditional techniques found in
Tracing Raising, produced for drawology: one year on, continues the re-presentation of documenting and developing the re-presentation of traditional metalworking tooling and techniques (such as wire-drawing and raising) through drawing and tracing. Raising is a technique whereby metal sheet is held at an angle and repeatedly hammered over a steel stake, creating a three dimensional form. By re-designing, re-creating and re-appropriating the techniques associated tooling I will trace the
repeated ‘courses’ of hammering required to create a simple spherical bowl. The rhythmic ‘courses’ are documented in two dimensions, in an enlarged format with the aim of re-presenting the shared experience of the metalworker to an audience unfamiliar with the methodical, monotonous, melodic nature of the physical process of raising. Opposite: Drawing on the past [detail] (2013), graphite Left: Tracing raising [detail] (2014), paper, graphite and walnut Right: Drawing on the past [detail] (2013), graphite, brass, steel and silicone rubber
Right: ‘Hair piece’ pencil and pastel on grey paper 40cm x 30cm 2013 Opposite Left: ‘Sleeping’ coloured pencil on Ingres paper 20cm x 20cm 2014 Opposite Middle: ‘Portrait study’ coloured pencil on Ingres paper 20cm x 20cm 2014 Opposite Right: Back of the head series: ‘wispy bun’ coloured pencil on Ingres paper 20cm x 20cm 2014
Devane is interested in the idea of drawing as a process of transformation and approximation and although this approach to drawing is fairly straightforward and is well trodden territory for the artist, it requires a particular sort of concentration and scrutiny which might be best understood as a form of phenomenological enquiry. Sometimes working directly from a motif and sometimes working from a mediated source, a drawing develops in relation to a number of sometimes contradictory impulses. In one sense, this approach to image making is about the idea of â€˜sustaining recognitionâ€™ as articulated by Michael Podro in his book Depiction*. In some of the more recent drawings, the subject matter
of hair provides a visual conundrum in the sense that a drawn line might literally equate to a strand of hair and yet the impulse to transform the subject matter demands a more emphatic approach to describing volume. The drawing process is in itself fairly fluid and reliant on hand-eye coordination which in turn allows for rhythms and areas of differentiation and emphasis across the surface. The almost spidery line describes the physicality of a strand of hair, whilst at the same time providing the sense of mass which gives the drawing its plastic form. * Michael Podroâ€™s book Depiction provides a philosophical enquiry into the nature of depiction and provides an insightful investigation into the relationship and interplay of medium and subject matter.
The encounter between drawing material and flat surface are frequent motifs in my practice, reflecting both its materiality (form) and its potential for transformation (phenomenon). Metamorphosis (study with five black, one white), exhibited in drawology (Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham), was inspired by a small chalk drawing by Thomas Gainsborough, Study for
Diana and Actaeon (c.1784), from the collection at Gainsborough’s House in Suffolk. Metamorphosis (study with five black, one white) takes the form of a deconstructed box. It comprises a formal black and white arrangement that exposes a sense of its own manufacture. The drawing’s potential for transformation into theatrical space through gesture (by the artist’s hand) is
constrained by its formal containment as matter. For drawology: one year on, Colony takes as its central image the intervention of a mound of chalk within an open landscape. This sense of imposition is reminiscent of Actaeon’s presence in Gainsborough’s study. Commonly used in agriculture, these chalk mounds assume the grandeur and scale of a displaced mountain range, before being drawn onto the horizontal plane of the landscape through mechanised agricultural processes. This dispersal echoes the indelible relationship that drawing has with the flat plane of the paper surface. Colony records a momentary convergence of material, situation and being. The chalk mountain no longer exists. Opposite: ‘Colony’, archival print and chalk residue on paper, 345mm x 460mm, 2014. Left: ‘Metamorphosis’ (study with five black, one white), charcoal & white chalk with watercolour washes on paper, 180mm x 240mm, 2013.
Paul Fieldsend-Danks is an artist and academic with a particular research interest in drawing and place-oriented practice.
animation, this process also references Emmanuel Levinas’s idea that those no longer physically in the world, leave gifts in the form of their physical traces. In Traion IV (Coventry) Foá+Hosea seek a constructive retelling of the old idiom ‘being sent to Coventry’, which describes an individual who is ostracised by others, in effect ignored as though not present. On a train journey, Foá+Hosea while sending themselves to Coventry, attend to, rather than ignore, each other’s presence, marking their absent presence through animated traces, and imagining the journey itself, as seen in the passing landscape.
Top: Maryclare Foá + Birgitta Hosea ‘Traion IV’ (Coventry) (Digital Drawing, 30 sec Loop, 2014) Opposite: Maryclare Foá ‘Light Wind Pareidola’ (Light Wind and Dirt Found Drawing, 1 minute 47 seconds, 2014)
Foá+Hosea are Maryclare Foá and Birgitta Hosea, collaborators engaging in exploratory multi disciplinary drawing practice.
By conjuring the trace of presence into the physically experienced world Foá+Hosea address the drawology exhibition premise – drawing is phenomenological.
Foá+Hosea’s Traion series responds to the myth of Butades’s daughter tracing her lover’s shadow on the wall attempting to keep his presence after he’s gone. The title of the series merge the words ‘trace’ and ‘motion’ referencing the process of drawing over film, in which presence and motion is traced. Foá+Hosea attempt to hold time and presence, through fixing their digital shadows in place with
In Light/wind Pareidola, Foá saw figures conjured by natural phenomena into the physical world. By exhibiting this work the Pareidola inhabits the world of lived and shared phenomenological experience, agitating the viewer’s perception and vision, while also referencing Maurice Merleau–Ponty’s text The World of Perception (1948) “...to bring the world of perception back to life…”
MARYCLARE FOÁ & BIRGITTA HOSEA
Top: ‘Remembering Grenada’ (2007) Chalks, stencil and conte on paper, 57 x 73.5 cm Right: ‘Tyneham Scratch’ (2009-10) Chalks, ink, and conte on paper, 51.5 x 67.5 cm Opposite Left: ‘From Cape to Cape’ (2004-05) Chalks and conte on paper, 52.5 x 76 cm Opposite Right: ‘MOD-Land with concrete post’ (2008-09) Chalks, collage, and conte on paper, 53.5 x 77.5 cm
In Edgeland, their poetic exploration of the British banlieue, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts wandered in (and wondered of) the hinterlands that make up the unofficial countryside of the British Isles. They described unwanted zones, brick piles and rubbish tips, derelict industrial plant and ragged landfill, forlorn filling stations and scruffy allotments, abandoned ordnance lying amidst rogue plants.
Drawing is an act of ridiculous faith in such places. Amidst abandoned workings and ancient slagheaps, in land riddled with trenches and troughs, adits and mineholes, ivoried elm and wild buddleia the drawn mark is always challenged; it slips and falls, stains and pours, gets stuck in hollows and rasps against the detritus of the paper’s surface.
Drawing opens our eyes to the mysterious phenomena of such places; there must be no gap between the sensation of unkempt disorder and the mark that notes it; we need to keep our every sense attuned to the vitality of these unkempt places. Here there is little to cherish and celebrate; instead one marvels at the resilience of ‘nature’ in such abject conditions, its refusal to be ground down by toxic contagion.
My drawings are rarely representations of any one particular scene. Instead they are accretions of places, spaces, times and seasons brought together on to a single surface; they are sites of both legend and anonymity, places emptied and yet full of emptiness, dis-membered topographies that have had their constituent parts re-membered through the very act of drawing. References: Richard Mabey, The Unofficial Countryside, 1973; Marion Shoard, Edgelands: an essay, 2002; Paul Farley and Michael Symmonds Roberts, Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness, 2011.
Joe Graham is an artist and a drawing researcher into the phenomenon of the drawn line.
I responded to the exhibition theme ‘drawing is phenomenology’ by presenting a series of drawings from my ongoing drawing research. Taken together, this constitutes an extended ‘thought on the phenomenon’ (phenomeno-logy) of the drawn line, questioning its ability to ‘record’ (represent) the phenomenological stream of consciousness which underpins it.
For ‘drawology’ Bonington Gallery, Nottingham I presented a selection of drawings from an ongoing series titled The Specious Line. The aim was to investigate the drawn line serving as a record of the experience of time passing, framed within the duration of the so called ‘specious present’. This investigation was based upon a number of presupposed ideas that were called in for question, including the form of the drawn line understood as an embodiment of expression, where this expression is itself a record of what it has formed: experience. Produced using a metronome to provide a rhythm and
frame the passing of time, I sought to question how a drawing might record the experience in a direct a manner as possible: to re-present the specious present as it ‘passed’, via the rhythmical movement of a point. For drawology: one year on at the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry I present a selection of drawings from a subsequent series The Specious Line (Let Loose). Produced as ‘metadoodles’ according to the same physical constraints, the formal focus was differently placed - to record the experience of the passing of time by deliberately outlining whatever came to mind.
JOE GRAHAM Opposite: ‘The Specious Line’ (Let Loose) pen on paper, 14.8 x 21cm 2014
Simón is MA Fine Art co-ordinator and a Senior Lecturer at the Arts University Bournemouth. The intervening period between these two exhibitions has permitted reflection upon what is intrinsic to drawing. According to Buddhism, what we believe to exist about the world, including drawing, does so as a matter of dependent arising; the attributes of a drawing coming into being as phenomena in relation to what causes these conditions, and are therefore dependent upon the mind calling them that, resulting in how we come to understand things to exist conventionally. We can talk about drawing in a conventional and consensual way. However, whatever properties we attribute to it, don’t tell us the full story and are certainly not intrinsic. The more closely we look, the more we sense the exchange and less the need to see it in terms of the author’s authenticity or expression. It is the expression contained in
the act of looking that is the point, which is entirely missing because we externalise the world constantly, as being out there, to be apprehended. Probably because we place the mind or consciousness firmly in our heads. X-ray analysis on a molecular level of ancient Chinese and Japanese calligraphic masterpieces reveals the residue of an artists thinking; the extent of the energy (Chi or Ki) present, effecting the carbon particles in the sumi (ink) which become aligned with the kanji created. As a natural conductor of electricity, carbon is an ideal material to react to the slightest electrical change in the body. Perhaps that is where the expression is.
Opposite: ‘Dec 2012 - Feb 2013’ Erased paper 1 x [12 - 1462] - 57.8cm x 57.8cm - Waterford 638gm NOT Left: ‘Feb – April 2013’ Erased paper 1 x [12 - 1602] - 57.8cm x 57.8cm - Waterford 638gm NOT Right: ‘May – Aug 2012’ (not in exhibition) Erased paper 1 x [12 - 1402] - 57.8cm x 57.8cm - Waterford 638gm NOT
DEBORAH HARTY Deborah Harty is an artist-researcher interested in the premise ‘drawing is phenomenology’. Deborah Harty is also a Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. The drawing created for the first drawology exhibition at the Bonington Gallery, ‘Conversation with humhyphenhum’ was installed as part of an installation with humhyphenhum’s I[me]you … you [me] us. The drawing provided a surface to phenomenologically absorb, reflect and converse with the hums’ drawing. Positioned as an enclosure encircling and containing the hums’ installation, as a consequence, directing the viewer to ensure they too became a part of the work. Passage, shown in drawology: one year on, at the Lanchester Gallery, traces attentive awareness: the linguistic marks upon the surface pursuing, through language, the perceptions experienced during the process of drawing. Each mark drawn without grammatical interruptions or structure allowing them to become intertwined; tracing the perceptual experience without
distinguishing individual blots, scores or tones. The absence of grammar and punctuation erases attention from linguistic meaning: returning the trace of marks to the trail of thought. The surface marked with more than the sum of the language used to inscribe it. Thoughts and perceptions are fleeting, our awareness often momentary and fluctuating between the inner world of thought and the visible, tactile and audible marks of our situatedness. This is as to phenomenological experience rather than as to visual observation*.
‘passage’, graphite and charcoal on paper, 230x 1000cm 2013
* Further elaboration of these concepts can be found in: Harty, D. 2014, Trailing Temporal Trace in Marshall, R. & Sawdon, P. (eds.) 2014 Drawing Ambiguity: Beside the Lines of Contemporary Art, IB Tauris: London
gathered in the dark and set down as if they were journey routes, each line following the movements of the tip of a finger, each with its own internal logic. The drawings were not theoretically inspired as such but aimed to be as material as possible. They sought to clear out a small space in which to work, in the middle of two contradictory impulses. The first of these was to be strongly connected to sensations by observing them as directly as possible, and the second was the intuition that it would be possible to separate what one knows (or thinks) from what one feels.
Blindfold and other drawings: the study of â€˜that which appearsâ€™ The works included in this show hover somewhere between being observational drawings and becoming diagrammatic patterns of accumulated tactile sensations. These were
These starting-out points were later replaced by other questions, after seeing whole series of drawings taped to the studio wall, questions about whether such drawings can be commensurable with each other in any way. They seemed to exhibit loose patterns, echoes from one drawing to the next, features that moved and others that remained relatively stable. No matter how the known (or unknown) objects were arranged, the drawings would always tell of a haptic perspective of some kind. In the end, this was carried over into works made by looking, eyes moving like fingertips over surfaces and into previously unreachable spaces. 27
humhyphenhum are Deborah Harty and Phil Sawdon, a creative drawing research collaboration … you [me]us
HUMHYPHENHUM The hums responded to the exhibition premise ‘drawing is phenomenology’ by attempting to capture and make explicit the process of collaborative drawing through drawing with traditional media, moving image, dialogue and written text. The hums identified through a playful (meaningful) research process the situation of you, me and together - us. For ‘drawology’ Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (see humhyphenhum.tumblr.com) the hums created a drawn installation, I[me] you … you [me]us, which attempted
Still from ]us[ moving image: 10 mins 50 secs, humhyphenhum 2014
to question where/how you, me or us collided or fragmented. The installation comprised of a table and two stools set opposite each other, you me, with two moving image narratives projected as place settings, you me, and a further projection, us, that covered the table and leaked onto the ground. The positioning of the projections, together with the hanging of Deborah Harty’s Conversation with humhyphenhum around the space of the hums’ drawing, offered a potential site for a viewer to become part of the us of the piece. drawology: one year on at the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry sees the development of this drawn installation, bringing together the process and experience of I[me]you … you [me]us into a single projection onto the table with two stools set side by side … ]us[
Jill Journeaux is an artist and educator with particular interests in the representation of physical, emotional and psychological realities through autobiographical narrative. Her key interests are the female body as an experience of inhabitation, the crafts and artifacts of domesticity as content, subject and process for fine art practice, and notions of beauty and nostalgia. She has been exhibiting since 1981 and her work is in public and private collections in the UK, USA and Europe. ‘I use drawing through stitching to create a nexus of associations between the female body and the unconscious with perceptions of specific places and personal memories. My drawn stitches thread together traces of time and place to form new connections through the physicality of sewing and the stories of others who have sewn through choice and necessity.’ Jill Journeaux 2014. Opposite: ‘My Mother’s Doilly’, hand and digital stitch, 2013 Left: ‘Island’, hand and digital stitch, 2014
Martin Lewis produces drawings or work in the vein of drawing.
A task is set: draw a white line on a sheet of paper, or draw around an object, or run your finger along a table. Small banal, indolent, indifferent events proposed as art, a withdrawal back to a next to nothingness, events that sit on the cusp of non-production and disappearance. But what happens if each banal, minimal act is continually repeated, so that the tasks become; draw one thousand white lines on both sides of one thousand sheets of white paper, or draw around every object in the world, or repeatedly run your finger along a surface. The intention is to complete the task, although this is inevitably thwarted by physical exhaustion and mental disorientation. What happens during these repeated events; frustration, boredom, irritation, anger, temporal discrepancies, distractions, elation? What do the performers experience, are they altered in any way, has anything been discovered, is there any point to these useless acts, are they undertaken merely to pass or exhaust time and what wills us to continue our attempts to fulfil the intention.
So this is what my practice is, a continual reassertion of the same thing, banal acts repeated, And in each repeated action there are sub-events, errors, mutations, digressions, and temporal discrepancies. Something untoward has moved or shifted the intention of the willed action. One year on. The work moves from a live drawing performance that relayed at an event to drawings that record an event.
Opposite Left: ‘Drawing over the surfaces of an enclosed space with trandsducers.’ Durational Sound Performance (2.5 hrs) Constructed enclosed room/ transducers/speakers. Backlit, Nottingham. 2012 Opposite Right: ‘Rubbing all the blemishes on a wall with grease.’ Installation/perfromance. Harrington Mill Studios, Long Eaton Nottingham 2012.
Juliet MacDonald is an artist who researches drawing, and draws to research histories, sciences, bodies, lives and human/animal relations.
Left: ‘Drawnover 3’ (section), Digital image scanned from pencil on paper, 2480 × 1961 pixels, 2008/2014 Below: ‘Marked Surfaces’ (in development), Digital photograph, 2480 × 1961 pixels, 2013 Opposite: ‘Drawnover 7’ (section), Digital image scanned from pencil on paper, 2480 × 1961 pixels, 2008/2014
In this series of works, attention is turned toward the surface qualities of drawings. For drawology, I bought three used computer tablets with damaged screens, using the search term on Ebay ‘tablet cracked’. These were used to photograph and display a number of pencil and paper drawings of faces. The cracked screens became part of the drawing, disrupting the image of the pencil marks and the appearance of depth, and bringing the digital constitution of the surface to the fore. In drawology: one year on there will be two tablets showing/producing a roving, magnified view of the surface of two drawings that are already layered by redrawing, one becoming the ground for another. Touch screen and texture of paper will both appear in the same marked surfaces.
JULIET MACDONALD 35
Lucy O’Donnell Artist/Researcher; York St Johns University. ‘Buzzy Bastard Beefly’ Cambria text, spoken word, dead fly and hair 2013/14
Lucy O’Donnell approached ‘drawing is phenomenology’ by acknowledging drawing and writing as both a verb and noun, and used the principle to underpin a hybrid practice. The drawing(s)/writing(s) presented in the exhibition seek to examine how gestures are read, and subsequently understood, by altering their forms and supports. The inscribed and sounded gestures unite the making of the work with the experience of the works subject.
The work takes various forms, remarking an experience as a type of perpetual wonder. A fly or buzzybastard beefly prompted the drawn experience and the hybrid traces successive encounters within four formats. Framed poetic texts draw with the buzzybastard beefly whose annoying presence creates a black mark on a window pane, metamorphosing to other traced experiential depictions, forming a cacophony of visual and sounded waves. Recorded sounded
interpretations of the poetics were made available through headsets in the gallery, the dead buzzybastard beefly was remarkable on the gallery floor and one year on accompanied by an imposter buzzybastard beefly, or ball of hair, whose phony attendance plays back an uttered memory hair here hare...
We make marks on surfaces and often define that location as a ‘picture plane’. When these marks are released from the formality of the surface, we appear to perceive them differently. They stop being ‘marks’ (transient indicators) and become ‘things’, possibly objects, if there are enough of them in close proximity. Andrew Pepper is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University.
In “PA Redrawn-Line”, shown as part of the drawology 2013 exhibition, marks (shadows) made by physical objects (hair) were released from the glass surface of the multiple holographic plates to occupy a space just above the installation. They shifted, swooped in and out of existence, as the viewer approached and moved around the floor-based
installation in the Bonington Gallery. The marks turned back into objects, albeit ones which existed purely through the diffraction of light and the holographic process used to record and display them. They did, however, start life as physical (solid) ‘things’. The new work, shown for the first time in drawology: one year on, uses the same methodology but delivered through a digital process. Here hogels (holographic pixels) are precisely
positioned on, behind and in front of the picture plane. They are not the reproduction of marks generated by objects as in “PA Redrawn-Line”, they have never existed physically, but become visible because of the ‘fixing’ of light in space. They lean, in their innocuous dark rectangle, against the gallery wall, below traditional eye level, framed by the light used to release them from their surface. At some points they are not ‘visible’ – only the ‘device’ used to support them.
An act of spontaneous placement, propped up ‘on the way’ to the gallery wall, yet installed with conviction. The marks become framed by their location and the rectangle of light which makes the work visible.
Opposite: ‘Lean’ (2014) Digital hologram and shuttered theatrical spotlight, Hologram 25.4 x 20.32cm, Gallery floor/wall Below: ‘PA Redrawn (Line)’ (2013) 20 Reflection holograms on glass, 100 x 20 cm, Gallery floor
‘To restore silence is the role of objects’ Samuel Beckett
My drawings occupy a small corner of phenomenological inquiry, their themes found lurking in Heidegger’s taken-forgranted, readi- and unreadiness-athand. Oxford college life is, unsurprisingly, thoughtfully repetitious. Seminars and lectures are punctuated by communal mealtime conversation and necessary domestic routines. Meanwhile, the margins of this tidy regimen accumulate disparate objects that watch on unobserved - jumbled mixtures of the polished and pitiful, the flashy and forlorn. My drawings return the look of these chance clusters: a bin, some paper towels, a tangle of wires. Glimpsed items are carefully scrutinised, pored over at a snail’s pace to reappear at once.
‘Cloakroom’ 2009/10, ‘Landing’ 2011, and ‘JCR’ 2011. All are pencil on paper, 60 x 42cm.
I can readily think of these drawings as simply grey-toned abstractions, graphic equivalents to Bertrand Russell’s thought that ‘real’ things might be reduced to causal principles, becoming merely “each other’s washing” pegging percepts along an infinite line. But, more positively, my images bracket-out these conceptual misgivings. Instead they take in another of washing’s metaphorical equivalents: a gradual rinsing-out of colours that reveals their topics’ monochrome beauty and uniqueness in quiet, representational celebration.
Bill Prosser was an illustrator (The Sunday Times, Penguin) who now makes his own drawings, which have been shown in Europe and the USA. He has been awarded a number of academic positions, including Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow at the University of Reading and Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas. He is currently a Research Fellow at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford.
JONATHAN WALLER Jonathan Waller is an artist who has worked in a wide range of media and currently works predominantly with sculpture and installation. Drawing has always been at the centre of his practice, often as large finished works, to which he gives the same status as painting. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been in two exhibitions of British Art in America and Germany. He has work in many public collections including the Tate Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This drawing was made two years after the birth of my first daughter Eva. It attempts to portray the intensity of the childbirth process. There is a direct correlation between the theme of birth and the emergence of the drawing through its process of making. This process is laid bare before the viewer. It is made visible from the first washes of arbitrary colour, through the
exploratory charcoal lines which search to describe form, to the development of a surface with a range of unconventional materials. It culminates in areas of more defined detail made with soft pastel, in particular the baby’s head as it emerges out into the world. The drawing is part of a large series on childbirth, comprised of more than 80 images. For two years I sought out images of natural childbirth for research information; sometimes even a very small black and white image would trigger an idea, and often two or three pictures would be assembled to make a whole. I also relied on chance and invention, my knowledge of anatomy, and drawing from life (particularly hands) when constructing the images. They could not have been made without the profound experience of supporting my wife Ruth through 37 hours of difficult labour.
Top: ‘Mother No. 24’ 152 x 123 cm Charcoal, gouache, pastel, spray paint, shellac and pigment on paper Opposite Left: ‘Mother No. 49’ 202 x 112 cm Charcoal, gouache, pastel, spray paint, and shellac on paper Opposite Right: ‘Mother No. 27’ 152 x 115 cms, Charcoal, gouache, pastel, spray paint, shellac and translucent acrylic on paper
My work in drawology is based on the experience of bearing witness - drawing as phenomenological exploration over time. Artist in Residence This was made following a three year residency at The Holburne Museum, Bath, from April 2008 to May 2011, during its closure for redevelopment. The exhibition at the end of the residency worked to the museum’s brief, in showing the process of their development project. However, the sensory elements remained relatively hidden. The work attempts to recall and reflect on the physical experience of ‘being there’. Drawing Journal 2013 To keep a sketchbook is necessarily a phenomenological engagement with the world. The discipline of a making a drawing a day for a year is an additional phenomenological journey. At the start of 2013 it was necessary for me to devote the majority of my time to caring for my husband, who was beginning to lose his fifteen year fight against Multiple Myeloma. In order to keep up the momentum of daily drawing I decided
to keep a sketchbook journal and, to ensure its continuation, to publish the drawing each day on my Facebook page, with a brief caption that was shared on Twitter. This public forum was an outlet for private thoughts without expressing explicitly what was happening in my life. What began as a way of maintaining my drawing practice grew into a strategy for coping with difficult times and has now become a vivid memoir of a significant year in my life.
Opposite: ‘Artist in Residence’ (2012) Graphite on paper, with mud on canvas, clips and wood, 46 x 86 x 10 cm Top: ‘Drawing Journal: Today I stayed in and did nothing’ (7th September 2013) Graphite on paper, 20 x 20 cm Bottom: ‘Drawing Journal: Bill preparing a script’ (29th March 2013) Graphite on paper, 20 x 20 cm
... IN RESIDENCE
Within the Bonington Gallery, three participants “… in residence”:
Dr. Kevin Love, Senior Lecturer in
Philosophy and Social Theory at Nottingham Trent University;
Danica Maier, artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University;
and Prof. Marsha Meskimmon, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory at Loughborough University, entered the picture plane to respond to marks, lines and tones within drawology’s collaged composition: what follows are the traces of their encounter...
The ‘... in residence’ sessions are based on Traci Kelly’s model for interactive research ‘seers-in-residence’. For further information please contact Traci Kelly: email@example.com
KEVIN LOVE Allow me to establish, for the sake of convenience, a rough heuristic. There is a realm of being that we commonly call the Real: it is the stuff of the world, the noumenal in Kant, the thing that is not simply our conceptual representation of a thing, the thing that is not simply or only our perceptual impression of a thing. And the whole history of a certain branch (arguably the central trunk) of philosophy can be conceived as an attempt to get to this ‘thing-itself’ in a meaningful and accurate way. Unfortunately (here’s the rub), whenever philosophy approaches the Real, words fail us. Not necessarily because it is ineffable, but because words are, well…wordy.
Socio-historically specific communicative systems, arising in response to all manner of diverse and relativistic stimuli, words are not necessarily a suitable medium for interrogating reality. The Real is singularly terse, words unavoidably verbose. Explication only seems to exacerbate, reworking the point with parlaverous tedium and thereby demonstrating our habitual and magniloquent prolixity. In other words, philosophers need to know when to stop talking. Now phenomenology thought it had found a way to suspend all preconceptions, all cultural/historical specificities and return to an authentic lived reality, where the â€˜thingsthemselvesâ€™ spoke directly to us in some kind of universal language. But the optimism that initially drove phenomenology to posit itself as the basic science of reality, foundered
in part on just this issue: there is no necessary contract between language and reality. Derrida makes this clear from the outset, for instance in his Of Grammatology, where the milieu of the gramme rather than the realm of the Real is disclosed as the fundamental element of meaning, thus closing the circle of language in upon itself. The similarities between drawology and Grammatology are obvious. Conceptually and etymologically both are redolent of the trace; marks made in passing, scraped or scratched on tablets or walls. Every similarity already being a difference, however, a more interesting set of questions arise if one asks: how is drawing different to writing; how is a drawing different to a text? The exhibition provides some clues in this respect. Not primarily in adopting a more honest attitude to the mediation of reality (we do not hang concepts in
a gallery, thus emphasising their basic dissociation from the real, but more typically subsume reality under largely undisclosed conceptual frames), nor in the more explicit union of the drawing and the drawer. While undeniably important, the most prescient clue is perhaps to be found in what remains rigorously non-conceptual in these pieces. Whether problematising the link between drawing and light/vision (conceptual motifs par excellence), marking the compulsive and nihilistic trajectory of utter description (both realist and idealist), or projecting the elusive provocation of indistinct forms, I invariably find myself directed to a single question: How best to mediate the Real? Might drawology somehow avoid the perils identified by Grammatology? Could one draw something else from reality, thereby avoiding the litero-metaphoric tendencies of philosophical enquiry?
Copy — Repeat — Respond
‘Twatchel’ (Top), ‘Nock’ (Left), ‘Futz’ (Right) & ‘Pootang’ (Opposite) coloured pencil on mylar, 2014.
Danica Maier is an artist Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University
watching ------l o o king
Conversations at the Fold
look; descend; walk forward; stop look (around, scanning); look; walk (toward wall); stop; scan look (closely) look; walk (circling, slowly); stop look (across, back and forth); walk look (to the left), stop; consider... look (in detail); rock on heels; stoop look (between, beneath); stand; walk look (side to side); walk (with purpose) look (ahead); walk; stop look (intently); scrutinise; think look; meander (pausing); look (back) look (over, swiftly); walk (with pace) look; ascend; depart
drawing is phenomenology drawings: observed | encountered | engaged observers observed, viewers viewed || bracketing, horizon, chiasmic intertwining
drawology 52.9500째 N, 1.1333째 W November 2013
Conversation with Humhyphenhum, 2013, reproduced courtesy of Deborah Harty
ARTISTS 04 Shaun Belcher
20 Joe Graham
36 Lucy O’Donnell
06 Siân Bowen
22 Simón Granell
38 Andrew Pepper
08 Patricia Cain
24 Deborah Harty
40 Bill Prosser
10 Rachael Colley
26 Claude Heath
42 Jonathan Waller
12 John Devane
44 Karen Wallis
14 Paul Fieldsend-Danks
30 Jill Journeaux
48 Kevin Love
16 Maryclare Foá & Birgitta Hosea
32 Martin Lewis
50 Danica Maier
18 Paul Gough
34 Juliet MacDonald
52 Marsha Meskimmon
WITH MANY THANKS to the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University and the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry University for their support and funding to enable the publishing of this catalogue.
Catalogue designed by Humble Hipster Studios www.humblehipster.com
Exhibition catalogue: 'drawology' at the Bonington Gallery, 2013, and 'drawology: one year on' at the Lanchester Gallery, 2014. Supported us...
Published on Sep 11, 2014
Exhibition catalogue: 'drawology' at the Bonington Gallery, 2013, and 'drawology: one year on' at the Lanchester Gallery, 2014. Supported us...