Drawing Thoughts (Part 2)

Issue 31 March 2017

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?

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.

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.

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.


Michael Geddis is an emerging Northern Irish visual artist who specialises in drawing. He delights in the elegant beauty of natural forms and finds tiny microscopic structures particularly inspirational. Geddis worked as a Veterinary Surgeon for over 25 years before ill health forced his early retirement. He then enrolled at Belfast School of Art (Ulster University) and in 2013 graduated with First Class Honours in Fine Art. His degree show drawings drew acclaim at a national level when he won the James White Prize for Drawing at the RDS Annual Student Awards in Dublin. Since then, he has been developing his practice through a series of awarded artist residencies/bursaries, some collaborative projects and an Arts Council Lottery Funded project using micro-surgeons magnifying loupes to produce finely detailed drawings.

In this exclusive interview, he discusses his work and his thoughts on drawing.

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.

Temporary Material

“My practice focuses on our relationship with materials and materials temporary nature. I use this as an entry to reflect upon the beauty and the energy rooted in the rhythms and cycles of our surroundings, of our consciousness, and of our interrelationships with the world. Particular relationships found in materials used in leisurely rituals and domestic utensils are most commonly used to in my practice to inform my work.
Primarily a drawing based practice; I extend my knowledge and understanding of drawing into sculptures, installations and animations.”

In this exclusive interview, Steven Maybury discusses his ideas and work in relation to the practice of drawing.

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.

Fictional Fragments

Anouk Mercier’s works present fictional, collaged landscapes and scenes, composed of fragments of existing 18th Century landscape etchings seamlessly assembled and interwoven with flowing waterfalls. Although clearly influenced by Romanticism, the melancholic worlds created deliberately escape definition: pastel coloured skies and surreal horizons hint at sci-fi, futuristic propositions, whilst purposefully disrupting obvious references to the Past and complacent idylls. These subtle contradictions result in a tension further symbolized by derelict architectural elements, simultaneously alluding to heroic monuments whilst embodying their decay.

Sound Works

Naomi Kashiwagi is an award-winning artist who produces sound works, installations, performances and works on paper, that draw upon her cultural heritage, an intrinsic fusion of two cultures, British and Japanese. Drawing is central to Kashiwagi’s practice and she makes drawings using a range of media including diamonds, typewriters, gramophones and pianos, as well as graphite and pen.

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.

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.