About the Project

The project seeks to examine relationships between investigative procedures in sciences of conservation, archaeology and medicine and the experimental tools and ideas of Art. It centres on the exploratory and analytical activity of drawing, where overlapping concerns can be found, specifically in the researcher’s shared engagement with fugitive or delicate material. The project responds to recent concerns voiced over the introspective character of much contemporary drawing research (Garner 2008) and its interdisciplinary approach falls in stark opposition to the conventional understanding of drawing as a secretive, private, studio-centred dialogue between artist and page. Rather than simply asking that increasingly hackneyed question: “what is drawing?”, it interrogates the activities of researchers who share values with a particular form of studio practice (one concerned with damage, contact, delicacy, sensitivity, traces) to ask “what might drawing share?”. The development of forms of documentation which are rare, yet necessary, to enable critical debate (through raising awareness of studio decision-making in relation to the processes of other fields), aims to test a transferable model for cross-discipline knowledge exchange.

Garner, S. 'Towards a Critical Discourse in Drawing Research' in S. Garner (ed.) Writing On Drawing: Essays on Drawing Practice and Research, Bristol: Intellect, 2008, pp 15- 26.

Research Questions:

How might technologies, protocol, methods of handling borrowed from these scientific disciplines be translated into studio processes to result in new and innovative methods of drawing to articulate ideas of the delicate?

Can these methods and resultant images make visible otherwise hidden interdisciplinary connections?

Can this approach to studio practice be documented in such a way to develop and communicate a transferable model for interdisciplinary studio practice?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Time Flies

I recently came accoss a set of victorian microscope slides at a flea market and was instantly hooked. I was partiularly fascinated by their sense of preservation within a visibly ageing form ( the glue used to fix the slide covered had yellowed and cracked. Presumably collected by an amateaur naturalist, the slides have sample ranging from rock fragments to the head of a blowfly ( pictured above).
Viewed through the microscope not only is the intended speciment revealed, but also the aging and flaws of the preparation.
The samples pictured appear to have a paper like consistency, reminiscent of old envelopes of pressed flowers - the stuff of memoried preserved for a later date the forgotten.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Showing Patina High and Dry

Another drawing in the Patina ( light) series ( above)
High and dry ( below).

Developped from the stand of ideas focused on the notion of Patina, are pieces which responded to the stuggles between chance and control in archival conservation of garments. These drawings build upon the idea of the greasy deposits left by touching but here these greasy residues are absorbed by either charcoal - a substance used in conservation to absorb dangerous elements in the atmosphere -and talc -a dessicant which absorbs moisture. So in effect , the surface of the drawing becomes the site where the chemicals of damage and the chemicals of control are met , resulting in a ghostly image of the shadow of the garments orginally worked with.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Some thoughts on transparency

One of a recent series of experiments which investigated the dematerialisation of the paper support though using wax to render it transparent.