Contracted Site: Artist On Paper, Drawing

    Sharon Jewell

    Traditionally the notion of drawing in-situ has suggested the physical presence of the artist in the environment under scrutiny. The assumption here of enhanced connectivity, however, is hasty in light of the idea that situation implies a relative spatial value determined by the interplay of subject and location, where the possibility of not being “in-situ” is problematic. The fact that traditional drawing in-situ, such as the representation of land as landscape, requires a framing of the world out there implies a distance between the perceived object and the drawing surface. Rather than suggesting that some drawing is situated and other sorts of drawing are not, however, I argue that situation or site is variously extended and contracted depending on the nature of mediation between surface and environment.

    The suggestion here is that site is not so much a precondition as a performative function, developed in the act of drawing and always implicating the drawing surface. In my discussion I first evoke an experience of drawing where site is incrementally reeled in, to finally be seen as something in the making. I then focus on specific works by Toba Khedoori and Cameron Robbins where the drawing surface testifies to its own emergence as site. As well, in using my own recent drawing practice as a case study, I argue that the geography of site is delimited neither by horizon nor the boundaries of the paper. Rather, I propose that site and drawing surface coincide in variously contracted and extended ways.


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    Biographical information

    Sharon Jewell

    Sharon has been a practicing artist since graduating from the Queensland College of Art in 1987. She returned to complete her Honours in 1999. In 2010 she completed her Masters at the Queensland University of Technology through which I researched the role of “emergence” in my sculptural and drawing practices and in the creative life more generally. She has recently completed her first year as a PhD research candidate at the Queensland University of Technology. The emphasis of her thesis is the drawing surface.

    Sharon Jewell
    Queensland University of Technology

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