Deborah is a practitioner-researcher whose research interests centre around the use of drawing practice and theory to research aspects of phenomenology, perception and experience. Her current practice-led research is investigating the premise that drawing is phenomenology. Deborah has been involved with TRACEY drawing and visualisation research since 2005, becoming an editor of the Journal in 2010 and a co-director of the expanded TRACEY site, following the takeover of the Drawing Research Network, in 2011.
Deborah is also one half of humhyphenhum – a creative drawing research collaboration with Phil Sawdon. The hums are primarily concerned with processes of drawing, including moving image, within the context of contemporary fine art; employing drawing as a means to generate understanding and further knowledge in response to a given theme.
Deborah’s recent practice-led research focuses on investigating the premise: drawing is phenomenology. The research utilises drawing alongside engagement with theory and philosophy as a means to test out this hypothesis. The relationship between drawing and phenomenology investigated within this project is 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.
Deborah is currently working on a monograph for Bloomsbury, titled 'Drawing as phenomenology: Explorations of thought, experience and immediacy in contemporary fine art drawing.'
Deborah is Chair of the Drawing Research Group at Loughborough University and co-director of TRACEY: drawing and visualisation research, with Russ Marshall. TRACEY is a research organisation that hosts and publishes diverse perspectives on drawing and visualisation. Its aims are facilitated through two main activities: a highly regarded International peer-reviewed electronic open access journal and as host for the Drawing Research Network (DRN). In this capacity, Deborah leads the committee for the annual international themed events, which include online conferences and curated exhibitions.
Deborah predominantly teaches across levels on the Fine Art programme, including final project and dissertation supervision. Previously, Deborah was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School and Programme Leader for the BA Fine Art programme. Deborah has acted as External Examiner for BA and MA Fine Art programmes and is currently EE for the BA Drawing programme at Falmouth University.
Deborah’s currently supervises the following research projects:
- Jane Cook - Drawing the Domestic: a phenomenological investigation of notions of the home.
- Lucia Cunningham - The artfulness of more-than-human trace.
- Penny Davis - Matricentric Drawing: autoethnographic strategies for visualising reproductive work as a lone mother.
- Martin Lewis - Non-Graphic, Repetitive Drawing, and Duration; From Thinking Drawing to Drawing Thinking.
- Yonat Nitzan-Green - From symbolic “maternal matricide” to embodied maternal cognition: how might drawing help us understand maternal subjectivity?
- Kiera O'Toole - Felt Mapping: A practice-led investigation into the process of drawing in-situ as a means of revealing one’s pathic and felt sense.
- Serena Smith - Writing on Stone: a practice-led reflection on the generative intersection between language and lithography.
- Oona Wagstaff - Drawing Sounding: Exploring the Visual Sounding Agency of the Drawn point.
- James Bowen (co-supervised with El Morgan)
- Patrick Brandon (co-supervised with Ahren Warner)
- Elis Mokhtar (co-supervised with Marsha Meskimmon)
- Rebecca Gamble (NTU)
Deborah welcomes applications for PhD researchers in the field of Fine Art with an emphasis on drawing, installation and/or moving image.