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Exploring particular issue themes, articles will be created by contributors via invitation, commission and open submission from subscribers.

Thinking on the Pages of Sketchbooks

Elisa Alaluusua originates from Finnish Lapland and has been exhibiting internationally since the beginning of 1990s. Her first degree was in drawing (1991), since then she has completed two MAs, one in UK (Environmental Art, 1995) and one in Finland (Art Education, 1999), and practice-based PhD at the University of the Arts London (2016) on the topic of Sketchbooks. In 2015 she won the second prize in the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize with her video/drawing ‘Unconditional Line’.

This article is based on her PhD research ‘Sketchbooks – A Comparative Analysis of the Use of Sketchbooks by Contemporary Artists’ and makes an attempt to get a better understanding of how thinking happens on sketchbook pages and what visual form it might take.

Drawing the intangible present

“Sometimes there are ‘breakthrough moments’ in the process of drawing, when through patient reflection new considerations about the subject emerge and move the work on to new and unexpected forms. There is a subtle point where the subconscious and conscious meet, and a drawing can then either self-consciously collapse or discover a fresh vitality and ‘truth’. The latter is what I try to find.”

Julia Hutton studied Fine Art at UCA Canterbury and MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London. Her work has been exhibited in the UK and overseas and selected for The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 and 2016, Drawing Biannual at RWA, Bristol 2015, and The Threadneedle Prize, London 2012.

Flood Story – Drawing the Anthropocene

“My approach to drawing is twofold. Firstly to use it as a tool to get out and examine the stuff of the world, to gather information and record experience. Secondly, as a means to construct narratives which communicate what I think and feel. These latter drawings often play out themes of environmental and social change, most recently speculation on the effect of global warming and rising sea levels.”

Gerry Davies is Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University and an artist who writes on drawing. He is ‘less interested in what drawing is, more interested in what it can do’. His work seeks to get a better understanding of how and where drawing today is engaging with subjects beyond the arts, in for example, science, medicine, and anthropology.

Emerging Drawing: the drawing as a complex adaptive system

Simon Downs originally trained in a particularly traditional school of illustration, but the rapid evolution of digital communications design forced him to rethink his design practice. In turn he became; a digital illustrator, a digital animator, an interaction designer, a multimedia designer and editorial designer; working in London for the finance and publishing sectors.

He writes on visual communication (including drawing) as a complex system, is a Director of the Drawing Research Network and has been an editor with the journal of drawing and visualisation TRACEY since 2003.

Visualizing the verbal

“My drawings are made through a process of mark making, using mostly dots, dashes and lines, and running through horizontals and vertical directions, as in the warp and weft in weaving. Each layer of marks built up over the previous layer partly obscuring but also revealing and repeating.
The resulting image is a mêlée or a wall of drawn marks that appear as a field of repeated actions.
The size of the drawings is often large or human in scale, with the viewer encountering the space of the drawing.
The marks are made in a certain order or pattern, and give the impression of completeness, yet also an appearance of in-between-ness or of a state of emerging.”
Anthony Lyttle.

Drawing in a Fluid Space

Solveig Settemsdal is a Norwegian multi-disciplinary artist working across mediums including sculpture, video, photography and drawing. Her practice investigates fluidity and the potential and transience of materials, be it sculptural, geological or cognitive. She is interested in how ephemeral objects can reveal processes otherwise hidden, such as how geological time can be compressed into an observable time frame. She recently won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her video piece Singularity (2016) and is currently studying for an MFA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Drawing is political?

‘Drawing is political?’, examines the ever changing context which determines the politics of how we might look at, see, and understand Drawings today. In doing so, discusses the contemporary relevance of the medium of Drawing, in the context of the volume and velocity by which we experience images digitally in contemporary western culture. A fundamental proposition considers whether ‘traditional’ Drawing approaches are merely an antidote to the digital world, or in fact, whether original and authentic drawn responses are now more important than ever?

Drawing as thought

Fiona Robinson is an artist, writer and curator whose practice is primarily drawing-based. She exhibits widely and has been the recipient of various prizes including the Royal West of England Academy Drawing Prize, The University of Bath Painting Prize and the 4th International Biennial of Drawing, Melbourne Australia, Third prize.

In this short essay she discusses how her drawing practice makes connections between drawing process and music performance.

The abject ‘Other’

“I am undertaking a critical genealogy of human displacement from the 19th century into late modernity, tracing the socio-political abjection through narratives of loss and movement. In this way I will look to connect my work with artists through the centuries who have depicted the abject ‘Other.’”

Caroline Burraway’s body of work aims to confront socio-cultural issues that lie at the core of modern society and with what lies hidden beneath in the everyday lived experience of the marginal individual and their relationship with the world they always already inhabit.

Unpredictable Structures

Tamarin Norwood is an artist and writer working with text, video and sculptural installation to examine gesture and pictorial figuration in drawing and writing. In October 2013 she began a practice-led doctorate at the University of Oxford, examining gesture and pictorial figuration largely through video, text and sculptural installation, developing a phenomenological study of the point of contact between drawing implement and support during the acts of drawing and writing. This study is part of a broader studio practice that employs features of metafictional literature, asemic and blind drawing, and amateurist sculptural assemblage to create sequences of videos, texts, objects and installations that describe the processes involved in their making.