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?

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Exploring the interior

Extending the concern with viewing and visualising the interior ( i.e. as with a medical agenda). I had been interested in the use of xrays in textiles conservation - prodcting images that appear to be of ghostly shells of garments, their interior revealed. Could I make such an object through paper casting? Presuming the external has an internal, I made thin paper casts of hands - the intention had been to make drawings inside thse casts which would then be suspeneded and backlit, revealing the content.

Instead the form itself had some interest - its wrinkled texture, orificed appearing to reference the body directly ( more so than a garment might) - a gullet, vagina or venal structure perhaps?

I photographed the interiors of the casts, resulting in images that seem to share similarities with endoscopic images.
From these photos I have strated to make drawings in silver ink which glimmer and come in and out of focus with the lighting conditions and position of viewer- a shimmering not unlike the ultrasound technologies I have been working with produce. Interesting too tat it should be a metallic element : I have learnt preparations of samples for electron microscopy require a fine coating of a metallic element to reflect the electrons and amke the image.

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