UWS Archive: Delineating Drawing

Year: 1995
Level:
First Years, Autumn Semester 1
Unit: 33063 Foundation Studies 2
Duration: 6 days
Dates: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6

Origin

This first year drawing workshop continued to refine an evolving methodology, working exclusively through line within severe constraints (the ‘method’ posited). In 1995 drawing was offered as a discrete unit (foundation studies 2). Each lecturer had a morning group and an afternoon group (16 in each). As the semester progressed, however (after the first project) this separation of drawing broke down and drawing tasks were ‘dissolved’ within the main project and designed to adhere and directly relate to the premise of each.

Premise

The initial briefing, replicated many of my previous drawing workshops in outlining the phenomenological approach adopted and the rationale for that approach. Exercises offered by the other lectures at this time generally steered around traditional drawing processes, taking significant liberties with what drawing could be, so my particular offering operated as a ‘conventional’ counterweight or complement to the others. At the time I was working my way through the writings of E.H.Gombrich his ‘Heritage of Apelles’ reinforced at the time the value of intense ‘objective’ observation. Berkeley’s theory of vision further adumbrated insights into the method adopted.

Day 1

Preliminary phenomenological briefing, then each ‘trialled’ the method, taking the subject matter of a chair or a stool, as a one hour study.

Day 2 & 3

Saw the removal of the ‘subject’ (the drawing of some selected ‘something’: a stool, a chair) and the commencement of an indiscriminate view encompassing the entirety of the space that each individual found themselves situated, (the visual encountering of space from a fixed vantage point).

Day 4

Students were paired up and delineated each others profile. This exercise in switching attention upon the recording of a living transient subject, never perfectly still, fixed and unmoving, registered within the delineation a higher degree of elusiveness, the subtly shifting poise of the head, requiring continual restatement of the profile outline. The left profile / right profile comparison experientially also revealed the partiality of sight in relation to sidedness.

Day 5

The group relocated outdoors in an area that overlooked the Z building Studio, which they were asked to delineate within the expansive landscape of its situation. The vagaries of light: the weather conditions of the day, were then brought to bear on the drawings composure. Issues of depicting extended distances and the crucial delineation of the horizon were canvassed.

Day 6

Assessment of all drawings produced.

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