Aims and Objectives / Questions
Whilst there is much debate, and disagreement, concerned with answering the question – “What is Drawing?” - most practitioner/theorists acknowledge both: the intimate and immediate manner of drawing, and the capability of drawing to record the trace of the drawer. Marden (in Farthing 2005, p.30) states there is, “Less between the hand and the paper than any other medium” suggesting drawing’s immediacy. When discussing drawing’s ability to record the trace of the drawer Newman (2003, p.70) suggests that, “When we look, we enter the intimate space of a work that is as close to the action of an artist’s thought as one can get.” Taylor (2008, p.10) also believes in this quality of drawing, writing, “… through the act of drawing we are not only left a trace of the physical act but a trace of the thinking process” In agreement with this, Bailey (1982, p.339) states, “More deeply than any other form in the visual arts, drawing immediately betrays how the draughtsman thinks.” Drawing, through its immediacy of means, reduces the space between the drawer and the drawing - leaving marks on the surface regardless of erasure - creating a visible trace of both the process of making and the drawer’s thoughts.
Working from this knowledge base and the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty (1964, 1993, 2002, 2004), who sought to identify the specific role of the body as mediator between the world and self, the investigation will consider the premise that drawing is phenomenology. The practice-led research will utilise drawing and/or theory/philosophy as a means to test out this hypothesis. The relationship between drawing and phenomenology investigated within this project will be two-fold: firstly, considering the ability of drawing to record its own making; secondly, the potential of drawing to record the thoughts of the drawer.
The project drawing is phenomenology will evolve over a three-year period considering the following:
DEWEY, J. 1934, Art as Experience, London: Penguin Books Ltd.
FARTHING, S. 2005, Dirtying the Paper Delicately, in: University of the Arts, Inaugural Lecture, London, April 26th 2005.
MERLEAU-PONTY, M. 1964, 1908-1961, The Primacy of Perception: and Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.
MERLEAU-PONTY, M. 1993, Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence, in JOHNSON, G. & SMITH, M. ed. 1993, The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader, Philosophy and Painting, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. pp.76-120.
MERLEAU-PONTY, M. 2002 (reprinted), The Phenomenology of Perception, London, New York: Routledge.
MERLEAU-PONTY, M. 2004 (reprinted), The World of Perception, Oxford, New York: Routledge.
NEWMAN, A. & DE ZEGHER, C. 2003, Conversation. In DE ZEGHER, C. ed. The Stage of Drawing: Gesture and Act, Selected from the Tate Collection. London. New York: Tate Publishing & The Drawing Center. 67-81, 165-173, 231-237.
ROSAND, D. 2002, Drawing Acts – studies in graphic expression and representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
TAYLOR, A. 2008, Re: Positioning Drawing, in GARNER, S. 2008, Writing on Drawing, essays on Drawing Practice and Research, Bristol, Chicago: Intellect Books. pp. 9-12.