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?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


“Findings ” form part of a larger body of projected drawings each composed of layered sheets of etched glass brought into visible existence though OHP. Developed from studies of microscopy and light-dependent medical imaging processes , this series of work deconstructs these forms of scientific imaging technology ,and repositions them to develop a means of drawing to articulate the otherwise hidden or overlooked.
The work engages with technologies on various levels: being both derived from the deconstruction of technological processes and then relying on other appropriated technologies for its visibility. This positions the work in a complex and critical position vis-a-vis this imaging technology, as tensions between concealment and revelation begin to surface: in the process of revealing the image, the projector simultaneously obscures the original infinitesimal etched marks. Imagery is derived from traces of human presence. The “Findings” series depicts personal items found abandoned in the city. Layered up, marks cohere into a single image, but fragmented, tenuous, occupying an ambiguous space, physically and conceptually echoing the social limbo in which these objects exist.
This series of projections was made specifically for the A Thing About Machines Festival, exhibited in the Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry.

Fax-similes:Lost in Transcription

Facsimiles are a series of drawings of found objects worked on discarded fax paper which explore the liminal space that we call ‘lost’: a place between loser and finder, a territory charted only by the object establishing a distant connection between two unknown individuals.
This idea is approached through an appropriation of the technology of the fax: a long distance communication lacking direct contact between its users. This sense of the unseen informs the drawing process: worked in white ink on the white heat-sensitive fax paper, the drawing is invisible in the making, revealed only though a final exposure to heat; a blindness which resonates with the faxing process: the sender cannot see the output.
The images themselves appear as ghostly scans, built up through an intensive scrutiny which results in an obsessive scrawling mark like an indecipherable handwriting, suggesting a sense of intimacy through this somewhat futile attempt to uncover hidden narratives. The drawings begin to appear more like treasured letters, rather than the impersonal output of the fax as the intensity of the working process leaves the careworn traces of human handling.
In this way, the ‘drawn’ mark does not replicate that of the machine, but more situates itself inside the framework of technology and appropriates its means for its own ends.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Secret Shadows - murmurs?

Beyond Vision

Experiment: invisible drawing revealed by ultraviolet light.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

In the small hours

More thoughts around the capacity for light to reveal otherwise hidden or unknown information, follwing inesigation into ultrasound and x-ray technologies. Forms evolved from cast shadows of familiar objects illuminted by torchlight, emerging as unfathomable forms strangley reminiscent of deep sea life- in itself - hidden, and barely within the grasp of human knowledge.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Watching ink dry

I have begun exploring a new strand of though developped as a tangent from investigations into light and revelation. I started to think more inensly about the power of light to reveal, and its concerse : darkness. As a result, a new seed of ideas has begun to emerge around ideas of nightime: a private time, the absence of light, shadows, the uncertainty of darkeness. The inability to make sense of or grasp fleeting impressions has been foregrounded here. Like these impressions, the drawing change as the ink dries, never fixed, the desired effects slipping away ( captured only in reproduction) fading to a feint blur, like a disappointing awakening from sleep.