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The curator’s sketchbook: Reflections on learning to see

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This paper advocates for the use of drawing as an interdisciplinary research tool and argues in favour of drawing as a method by which to improve the observation and reading of artefacts. I suggest that the process of drawing, in slowing down the process of looking, can facilitate close observation of artefacts and thereby help to reveal subtle clues and hidden narratives. I call this method of attentive looking The Slow Approach to Seeing. The genesis of that idea and its extension as a pedagogic tool are described herein. This methodological position is supported with reference to John Ruskin, John Berger and James Elkins.

Keywords: artefacts; curatorial practice; drawing; object-based research; research methods; seeing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ryerson University

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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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