DRAWING INTERNATIONAL BRISBANE (DIB)
SYMPOSIUM 2015: EGO, ARTEFACT, ARENA
DEANNA PETHERBRIDGE : Some thoughts on the social co-option of drawing
In her keynote address, Deanna Petherbridge will problematize some of the issues of collaborative and relational drawing, with reference to her own teaching experiences and the critical framework of published commentators. She will examine such issues as private and public; ‘Selfies or self-legitimating narratives’; the tensions between artists and participants in orchestrated events; ‘laissez-faire aesthetics’ and issues of judgement and decision–making; as well as the power of institutions to absorb and de-politicise all forms of artistic practice.
HANNAH MATHEWS: Working with drawing
Drawing has a large part to play in the creative process; from planning, sketching and mapping, all the way through to rendering and documentation. It is both action and outcome. Using recent examples from her curatorial work, contemporary art curator Hannah Mathews will discuss her interest in the various temporalities that drawing can occupy within the exhibition and across disciplines.
BARBARA BOLT: Elegy to an Oz Republic: first steps in a ceremony of invocation towards reconciliation
In 2012 I completed a series of drawings that, whilst figurative in form, were structurally based on and derived their inspiration from Robert Motherwell’s abstract series, Elegies to the Spanish Republic (1963-1975). This wholesale “borrowing” “quotation” and “citation” raises the question: What does it mean to engage in acts of appropriation NOW? And, more importantly, can such acts of appropriation draw on the spirit of the “original” work to make a (political) difference?
His Daughter’s Father 2015 is an experimental multimedia-drawing that moves between performative drawing, the digital moving image, and the stilled representation. The work is constructed from two still images of the artist’s father. Between the stills, the digital process of performative drawing through re-created gestures simultaneously creates new marks, trajectories and meaning while revealing past ones. This paper discusses the work’s material and conceptual processes and considerations in terms relating to subjectivity and time.
Extending from earlier work (Schultz and Barnett 2015), this paper is focused on four considerations of drawing together knowledge production using Cognitive Redirective Mapping: Drawing together with the hand; drawing together assemblages and mess; drawing together information design techniques and performing drawing together. Two case studies are also explored. Cognitive Redirective Mapping confronts an imperative to ‘see’ and explore knowledge production that can navigate paths through a problem and draw things—causalities, concerns, appearances and gatherings, together in order to contribute to redirecting destructive futures.
Associations with the body and absence continue to underpin contemporary notions of drawing as trace. In this paper I examine the nature of this relation, through a recent project using eye tracking to make drawings which map the path of my gaze. This discussion aims to contextualise the resulting images in relation to ideas of absence and the body in the field of drawing, and to establish a case for the act of looking itself as a form of trace.
In 2008 Norfolk Islander Bev McCoy drew for me a site-specific depiction of the offshore fishing ground name Shallow Water I explore the ideation and movement of linguistic pilgrimage through naming and explore how this posing is relevant to aesthetic understandings of the study of placenames (toponymy). Toponymy and its site-specificity in terms of drawing as diminished object and the perils of being a spectator to drawing are presented as a creative gesture implicating mobility and emotional interpretations of language and geography.
As a visual artist I have been intrigued by the drawing, watching it expand from large two-dimensional representations, to three-dimensional works, and more recently as a basis for thought and discussion in linguistic research. The drawing acknowledges and preserves experience, but it also provides a place for the artist to reflect, a place where time is silenced and thought pervades.
A human being’s notion of the ‘self’ is constructed through a reflexive process of self-narrative and then performed in similar ways to the construction and reading of a map. The ‘self’ finds and defines itself through the ‘other’ in a reflective and interpersonal way. By mapping others I therefore am able to create a large self-portrait thus mapping my ‘self’. The distinction between different ‘selves’ is ultimately false, we are all connected through the ‘collective subconscious’, simultaneously creating each other’s ‘selves’.
Piyali Ghosh: Drawing, ego, self: the practice of ‘Rasa Rekha’ in the work of Indian contemporary artist
In colonial India the drawn line was traditionally used as a means of defining social and physical space; however, more recently, contemporary Indian drawing has shifted significantly. As an example, in this paper, Indian contemporary artist Piyali Ghosh presents an exegetical exploration of a studio practice that combines drawing with Rasa Theory. The integration of Rasa theory with drawing is a methodology called Rasa Rekha; Through her subject position in India, Ghosh offers a demonstration of Rasa Rekha as a cross-cultural practice through a relationship to expressionism in the western Avant-garde.
Performance drawing is the quintessential feminist art activity, enabling the embedding of feminist narratives simply by virtue of using a female body, while addressing diverse issues such as ecology, identity, ethnicity. Depiction of a body that reads as female introduces physical, social, and cultural metaphors that provide a particular set of aesthetic, political, and embodied conditions and characteristics. This paper discusses three interdisciplinary artists whose performance drawings use the body as a tool for understanding our place in the world.
Ian Howard: Representation of the spectacular
Working directly with ‘restricted’ subjects necessitates that complex negotiations are a prerequisite to gaining the access required. In this context there is a fundamental integrity within ‘realism’ that promotes confidence and trust amongst all parties. Jean Dubuffet described art brut as being created outside the boundaries of official culture. Equally, Insider Art is not created within a conventional art context- neither traditional nor avant-garde. Rather, its production comes from a third way, by operating directly from within its subject matter.
Imagining alternative realities: the body as a site of physical and imagined presence invites subjective encounters and interpretations that extend the possibilities of what a portrait might be. Central to this argument is the threshold between how the human body is seen with the eyes and how it is seen in the mind. As this is indistinct, my concept of portraiture goes beyond generic to form a reactive and subjective attachment to reality, mobilising the indexical natures of perception and awareness.
In the late 1950s, Australian artist William Dobell began drawing from television using a ballpoint pen. Combining to new technologies, this conservative portraitist found himself engaging with new, televisual orders of movement, bodily performance, attention and annotation. Dobell’s drawing practice combined residual elements of modernism; as a sedentary flâneur he sought the Baudelairean heroism of modern life on TV. Dobell’s abstract ballpoint doodles also hinted at an emergent postmodernism, their fluid, rolling line emulating the mobilised flow of the televisual field.
Framed by the visual representation of time and Henri Michaux’s term cinematic drawing, this studio-based project employs methodologies derived from a perceptual drawing practice in response to the experiential aspect of time passing to uncover the operation of the buffer and explore the almost as an instrument of the cinematic.
Drawing upon the artefact of the past: How the contemporary visual artists are simultaneously haunted by the past and its legacy of trauma and conflict while the present frees them to use history as a vehicle for discourse as demonstrated in the drawings of Michael Borremans.
Along with velocity and duration, rhythm is one of the constitutive elements of temporality. Yet rhythm has remained remarkably under theorised in contemporary drawing, despite its near universal presence. Here I bring Henri Lefebvre’s rhythmanalytic approach to the study of contemporary abstract drawing as a means to grapple with issues of repetition, circulation, flows, interruptions, movement, stillness, cycles and so forth. In the spirit of Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook I propose a typology of rhythms in contemporary abstract drawing. The analytic utility of these categories is tested through an analysis of the drawings of Julie Mehretu and Chiharu Shiota.
This research operates within the interdisciplinary freedoms of contemporary drawing. Approaches to quotation, appropriation, pastiche, irony and sincerity are explored through Raymond Pettibon’s drawing practice, resulting in a vast, multilayered body of work. This self-reflexive practice incorporates numerous ciphers into its suspended, interrelated narratives. Beyond the physical level, the work operates on an intertextual level, moving between the metaphysics of genre and previously separated art forms to create a reconfigured history, unhampered by distinctions and boundaries between media and form.
The aim of this paper is to examine the ways in which drawing in the digital age presents new methods of hybrid product creation, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital creation of a three-dimensional design. A project called ‘MyPen’ illustrates an interactive fabrication workflow, and investigates how complex products may be created by customers with no knowledge of CAD programs, using instead their innate ability to draw simple geometry or mould a shape with their hands.
The practice of drawing has proven to be a way of knowing the world. This paper will endeavour to enhance cognition through the practice of drawing with the purpose of reconnecting to the world around us. We tend to look at the object, however, do we see the subject? The project will work with drawing, but not in the usual way of developing precision and draftsman-ship, but rather as a tool for phenomenology.
Justin Garnsworthy: Hyper drawing with blu-tack as “instrument”, flatbed scanner as “surface” and
Photoshop as “manipulation tool”
My drawing practice explores changes in perception of everyday materials brought on by the digital age in a hyper drawing. This is achieved by blurring distinctions between process and product, and between analogue and digital that confounds viewer’s certainties about optical perception. Recent manifestations are subversive exploration of quotidian material Blu-tack merging with domestic technologies associated to the zone of the office.
This research document posits elements for a performance drawing matrix. As a means to understand my own public drawing practice, I have recognised a need for a framework that examines the production of live drawing. Filtered through my observations at Draw to Perform 2, I will outline strategies that consider the presence, co-presence, materiality and participation of collaborative practice. This paper aims to identify elements and conditions of this event, questioning whether all drawing in public is performance? And, what it means to engage performance drawing?
This paper discusses practice-led research concerning drawing and the moving body. Rochelle Haley uses a live method of drawing the movement of dancers to explore how the drawn line is embedded with past and future movement in volumetric space. Trisha Brown’s drawn choreographic score for Locus 1975 is discussed alongside Haley’s own drawings of an immaterial cube. This comparison will reveal drawing as a medium of conceptual action that becomes an alternative document of the immaterial object of dance.
Artists are illusionists who use blobs and marks to evoke depictions in the mind of the viewer. Seeing, perceiving, recognition and materiality are instrumental in this process. Neurological research indicates that seeing and perceiving are complex processes, and mimesis, a basic human pursuit, is also a complex and subtle process involving perception and interpretation. I will discuss the relationship between my studio work and selected theories which have informed my understanding of the processes of depiction and recognition.
This paper is an investigation of the productive role of malfunction in the life drawing studio. It draws upon three ongoing research projects: a practice-led studio drawing inquiry, a dialogue with a professional life model and an investigation of a 1979 performance at Brisbane’s College of Art by artist Dragan Ilic. Malfunction is presented as an interrogative method that can be applied to the regulatory structure of life drawing.
The Red and The Blue’ was a collaborative drawing project by Vin Ryan and myself for Ways and Means, an ongoing experimental drawing project. As a collaborative action or performance drawing, there were a number of aspects of interest. The focus of this paper is the phenomenon and function of gameplay within the project. This ‘gameplay’ element served to drive the aesthetic outcome as a generative device while simultaneously functioning analogously to reflect the concepts important to the work.
The impact of major ‘real-life’ events such as death, birth and wearing the right outfit are extreme intrusions into the art making process. In the context of my own episodic or on-going drawing projects, I am concerned with ways that drawing entwines lived experience with the things we make. In this paper, literature and video installations, journals and blogs shed light on the ways that drawing does this.
The paper discusses the role of drawing in installation that results from drawing’s uniquely supportive relationship with the actual space in which viewers are immersed. It does this by analysing strategies used by ‘Blueprint’, a 2010 wall drawing by Rose Anne McGreevy, to show us ‘the sensory world’, to use the artist’s words. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance of the focus on ‘the sensory world’ at this historical moment.
On a recent visit to the Spiral Jetty in Utah, I was struck how similar the experience of the Jetty was to the calligrams by Guillaume Apollinaire. The exposure over time had left the Jetty vulnerable and endearing. It did not present itself as a monument rather as a poetic inflection. In this context, it raised a dialogue between visual and poetic experience, between the objective manifestation of the whole and the subjective reading of the parts.
By examining the materiality of drawing, mark making, and surfaces, I question at what point do natural and artificial marks coalesce and how are they different. From Leonardo da Vinci to Alexander Cozens, I discuss how an intended mark can transcend from being an addition to a surface, to actually be a surface. I investigate the cacophony of naturally occurring stains, on some surfaces, combined with the artist’s intentional marks. Can drawings that appear to mimic nature be considered artefact or artifice?
Haynes’sillustrated talk connects performance, drawing, writing and speech by discussing two projects: The first project is Body.Language in which a small gestural drawing is scaled-up, printed onto fabric and turned into a costume for a series of performances. Part of this work is exhibited in Drawn to Experience V2. The second project, …and speech, conflates speech with drawing and exploits the cinematic potential of the photocopier to create a stop motion film, screen-prints and a series of impromptu performances captured on instant film.
Todd Fuller: Drawn to move
Drawn to move blurs the line between performance and life drawing. The pair take an act which is typically one of research, intimacy and privacy, offering the model a sense of power and liberation. As the studied figures begins to shift, the pair explore mapping, trace, anatomy, gesture and choreography in an atelier setting.
Anna Gonzalez: Scratching the surface: technique and caricatural exaggeration
Sgraffito is the technique chosen to present the drawings selected for this Symposium. Their compositions are produced with the intention of caricaturing the symbolic dualities of faith and tradition of a very opaque institution such as the Catholic Church. It is evident that humour frequently constitutes a vehicle for moral criticism, and this same reasoning opens many venues to investigate.
Being analyses a progenitive experiment which tests the extreme limits of reductionist linocutting. Linoleum templates are incrementally drilled to generate multiple, printed permutations that span wide visual spectrums. This radically destructive approach establishes an oxymoronic creativity. The art’s mechanised aesthetic locates it in a contemporary context. This analysis elucidates how drawing is intrinsic to printmaking. An anthropomorphic interpretation explores how implied visual motion has relevance to geometry, music, consciousness, cosmology, nature and the sublime.
This discussion will investigate how language, in drawing, can be used to create alternative, and often misleading realities. Using diagrammatic drawing, techniques of metafiction, textual topography and illustration, I will explain how to find solutions to problems that don’t really exist. By adopting willful ignorance, creating curiously unstable connections and accepting deceptively attractive explanations I will show how drawing can be used to create a fallacious and insincere archive of lived experience.
Automatic drawing, scribbling and doodling have been thoroughly incorporated into our notions of spontaneity or unconscious creativity. Artists practicing these techniques constantly may blur boundaries between intentional and unconscious. Along with a review into the history of spontaneous drawing, the paper concentrates on how embracing automatic forms of drawing helps an artist break down subconscious personal limits and develop their own style through which personality will persist. Works of contemporary art practitioners as well as author’s own drawing process using watery acrylic paint as a tool are discussed.
Sarah Pirrie: Aleatoric composing in Current Brisbane
Current Brisbane is a drawing installation and event using hand-made paper forms and wind. Generated by a commercial fan wind acts as the main protagonist of the artwork while the paper endures to discover new associations and sculptural entanglements. The aleatoric composing in Current Brisbane uses drawn paper-pulp bifurcating to a defined rhythm of action and inaction. The drawn paper’s fragile forms adjoin our world in a theatrical performance of survival. Destruction is inevitable but creativity live in what we do after the event.
Darren Fisher: Short autofictographics
In The Art of Being Yourself, Caroline McHugh assures us that we are all multidimensional, unique individuals. Based on a daily practice of image-based diaries, Short Autofictographics explores the question Who are you? using a range of media, storytelling approaches, and visual style, and finds that a definitive answer is elusive. The expressed self is in a state of permanent flux, influenced by a range of factors, including social setting, company, and the surrounding context of events. The possible representations are limitless.
Zoonoses is classified as an infection or infectious disease that is transferred from animal host to human. Seventy five per cent of all new human diseases have their genesis within animal hosts. (Love, 2010) These hosts play an important role in maintaining diseases in nature, with some, frighteningly, having the potential to be pandemic. Through the use of drawing as a narrative tool, consideration of how animals are demonized by their implication to zoonoses is explored.
Benjamin Sheppard: Fair game drawings
What remains are speculative and experimental drawings that register the concepts of the given themes through performative play.
Robert Andrew: Transitional text
The work Transitional Text uses an electromechanical erasure machine that erodes a fragile, layered, substrate comprised of oxides ochres and chalks, Technically modelled on a desk top printer, the erasure machine subverts and reverses the printing process, pulsing fine jets of water in a reductive rather than additive process and creating a new image through the removal of old text.
The bleed of residue works down the transitioning surface in a metaphorical and physical palimpsest that scrapes back the surface to re-write previous narratives.
Zoe Porter: Traversing Boundaries: drawing, performance and the animal-human hybrid
The proposed drawing performance will depict the animal-human hybrid form in an attempt at crossing the boundaries between the animal and the human, real and imaginary states, chaos and order. This work will explore a personal mythology that presents the human form undergoing transformation, which suggests the possibilities for other ways of being or existing. The intended performance-based work is collaborative and will merge art, theatre, sound and physical performance highlighting the artistic and creative processes involved in producing drawings.
The current body of work investigates the intersection of indexical reprographic media and graphic drawing methodologies. Social typologies that are instrumental in sustaining positions of power are deconstructed with performance and drawing rituals. Using irony, tropes and gestures that define fixed social positions are parodied to query the fixed nature of such stereotypes and their legitimacy to justify forms of exclusion and privilege.
When I transfer material onto the lithographic stone through a sheet of rubbing crayon or carbon, it becomes a similar process to the frottage methods I use in the landscape, where an impression of the terrain becomes an expression of that time and place. Re-enacting techniques from the outside environment to the studio are ways of transferring information connecting one place to another. The drawing presentation takes place on the same lithographic stone that the projection is created for and evokes the layering, fluctuations and changes of the artesian landscapes.