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 and/or theory/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. 
The project drawing is phenomenology is developing through three connected and interwoven strands, which consider the following:

  • Musings - the theory (including Dewey 1934 and Rosand 2002) and philosophy (including Merleau-Ponty) of both drawing and phenomenology to uncover whether it is reasonable to suggest that drawing is phenomenology.
  • Processes - the different processes and genres of drawing (including narrative, representative and non-representative) to uncover whether the premise drawing is phenomenology relates to all processes and genres.
  • Interruptions/provocations – ‘other’ factors that might alter/interfere with the premise drawing is phenomenology, for instance the use of a digital interface or the loss of a sense (for instance, sight).
  • SAA123   Introduction to Fine Art
  • SAA124   Developing Fine Art Practice
  • SAB114   Locating Fine Art Practice
  • SAB115   Reflective Fine Art Practice
  • SAC116   Resolving Fine Art Practice
  • SAC118   Consolidating Fine Art Practice
  • SAC117   Fine Art Practice: Final Project

Deborah’s currently supervises the following research projects:

  • Patrick Brandon - Beyond the Frame. Poetry and Painting. Interinfluence. The Search for a Propagative Dialogue.
  • Jane Cook - Drawing the Domestic: a phenomenological investigation of notions of the home.
  • Martin Lewis - Calls and Responses; Drawing and Thinking

Deborah welcomes applications for PhD researchers in the field of Fine Art with an emphasis on drawing, installation and/or moving image. Please select the Research tab to see more information about her research field.