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Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants through Contemporary Drawing Practice

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Navigating through three distinct sites of knowledge ‐ the seventeenth-century treatise on Malabar’s plants, Hortus Malabaricus; historical herbaria; and protected areas of remote forests and coastal regions of Kerala ‐ the project will stimulate innovative modes of drawing through considerations relating to the collection and preservation of rare plants. Generating a distinctive body of artworks at world-leading plant science research facilities and in the bio-diverse South Indian rainforest, the research asks: can drawing represent the vulnerabilities and resilience of rare plants, not through illustration and gathering information by creating marks on a substrate, but as a material phenomenon that can generate new knowledge?

Keywords: Hortus Malabaricus; artist books; collections; drawing; ecology; herbarium; papermaking; rare plants

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2017-19

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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