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Drawing for sport

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Art and sports are located at opposite ends of the cultural spectrum and do not easily mingle, but artists and athletes have more in common than we may think. There are parallels between the disciplines of drawing and athletic performance that can enhance our understanding of how attention and perception function in both sports and drawing. This article shares an approach to a hybrid art practice that merges drawing traditions with the discipline of athletics, and suggests that athletic drawings can shed new light on the body’s role in shaping the processes of observation and perception. This exploration has taken various forms over the past decade including studio drawings, live performance and the participation of others. This art practice refigures prevailing ideas of observational drawing by extending the concept of observation beyond the primacy of the visual. Performing athletic drawings creates a state of heightened bodily awareness in which observation is a complex corporeal phenomenon. In addition to visualizing bodily limits in time and space, athletic drawings also reveal the psychic boundaries we draw between our environment and ourselves, providing a different lens through which we may understand our physical relationship with the world.
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Keywords: Merleau-Ponty; Namkung; Nicolaides; Trisha Brown; athletics; drawing gym; perception; performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Florida International University

Publication date: 01 July 2016

More about this publication?
  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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