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Narrative traces through being and places, drawing, performance drawing and painting

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A reflective observation of a 40-year drawing practice (from the 1970s to the present day), from observational drawing in outdoor environments, to performing Driftsong sound drawings through place, leading to the author’s current concern, woandering to bridge drawing and painting in a pareidolian archaeology. Her practice, rooted for its first decade in observational drawing in outdoor spaces, intensified her awareness of the environment and led her to undertake a research degree investigating whether an interaction between the environment and the practitioner during the process of drawing could be identified. This review follows the author’s practice, highlighting essential influencers, including Linda Kitson, Charles Baudelaire, Jacques Derrida on Emmanuelle Levinas, Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Performance artist Phil Smith. Identifying how the development of the author’s understanding of the environment impacts on her drawing led her to question whether while making work in the outside environment, she may also impact the environment in return. The author later expanded this idea further to wonder if while we make drawings of the environment we may be drawn by the environment too. A significant conversation with her research supervisor the artist David Cross, in which he stated that mass displacement is ‘a defining condition of our times’, together with the planets approaching environmental catastrophe, prompted the author to give a paper proposing Psychogeography be updated to Reciprocalgeography, and that the stories of the journeys undertaken by those displaced persons be heard as a ‘gift for the common treasury for all’ (Gerard Winstanley 1649). This review concludes with a response to an invitation to write on the thinking and making of her current practice. The author, combining the physical, emotional and conceptual process of making, proposes to woander on a pareidolian archaeology, allowing serendipitous happenstance and the unconscious, to have a hand in the making process.

Keywords: driftsong; observational drawing; pareidolian archaeology; performance drawing; reciprocal geography; woander

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000085170017University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins and Camberwell

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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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