Commencing an AA2A artist residency at York St John University this month. The residency is for this academic year and will enable a valuable period of research and development, with progress being documented in this journal and the AA2A website – click here for more details.
Video Drawing (2018)
My work is currently being profiled in the October/November issue of Aesthetica Magazine, click here to view.
1 September to 28 October 2018
Forms Assembled in the Light
The KPP Prize for Art, Architecture + Design
Sunny Bank Mill Gallery, Farsley, Leeds
Taking part in this exhibition with work from my current project, Skin. The exhibition comprises 33 UK artists who are all exploring architecture in their practice.
Skin installation view (2018)
For my current project Skin, research has been focused on investigating the potential of drawing to uncover and convey the felt experience of architectural sites.¹ I am examining a relationship between the felt experience of a place and the felt experience of drawing and the aspects that each may uncover.
In terms of experiencing a place, I am engaging with aspects revealed through the visual reception of textural surfaces that may lead to further analysis through touch, noticing traces that may have been made through human use or from an architect’s hand, or breathing air, turning to face light or shade to further explore atmosphere, taking a moment to assimilate these felt clues to form a picture of the history of the space. As well as uncovering clues, this sensory experience can produce pleasure that I am also exploring through drawing.
Nancy analyses many pleasurable aspects of drawing, such as sense, interruption, tension, gesture and repetition, that I recognise in this project.² Working with a specific focus (surface drawings of three concrete bricks) and limited materials (graphite on pergamenata paper), I am testing a potential approach, repetitively drawing, noting my experience of drawing. Noting aspects such as the anticipation of each drawing just before the first mark is made, wondering what may be revealed, or the tension between felt and thought, aspiring for felt as far as possible, or engaging with the surface of the brick, enjoying the texture that changes through repetitive handling, interrupting the memory of each indent gained through active engagement, or considering the impact of gesture, drawing from the inside out, or outside in, and the influence of the outside line.
Most of all, noticing that each brick drawing is different, even slightly, not just from the impact of repetitive handling, but also from felt engagement, a duality of touch in both reception and expression.
¹ Susan Collis, Remainder, shown When we loved you best of all, Touchstones Rochdale 2017; Do Ho Suh, Rubbing/Loving Project, shown Venice Architecture Biennale 2018; Guiseppe Penone, wall surface drawings, shown A Tree in the Wood, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2018
² Nancy J-L (2013) The Pleasure in Drawing, Fordham University Press
Tchoban Foundation, Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin
Exhibition: Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects (2018)
“Located in between, drawings mediate between architect and building. Drawing wanders about architecture.”¹
I am fascinated by hand drawn architects’ drawings, from initial sketch, to imaginative visionary drawing and precise architect plan. I am drawn to the thinking through and potential of these drawings, particularly when I can also wonder at the sensory experience of the buildings they propose. I even enjoy the use of translucent architectural paper as surface, to some extent influencing my use of similar papers.
For me, there is a dialogue between architect drawing and artist drawing, although they are quite different. When I am drawing in response to architecture, I am acutely aware I am drawing in the trace of the architect’s drawing, in the shadow of the architect’s hand and in some ways, there is a sense of communication.
Wingham² considers the distinction between architect and artist drawing, in particular the view that for the architect there is a distance between drawing and building, where drawing is an intervening medium to reach the intention of the building, a product that lies outside the drawing; whereas for the artist, drawing is a means to reach the final work itself, the drawing being part of the final work. Interestingly, Wingham goes onto examine the idea that architect drawing “holds down a space”, providing anticipation of and opening up possibilities for social practices, exploring the relationship between visible drawing and invisible context.
For me as an artist, drawing in response to an architectural site explores, reveals and conveys a sense of the invisible; perhaps even a sense of the social practices of the space anticipated in the architect’s drawing? I am interested in the idea that through my sensory experience of the space and sensory action of drawing, ‘touching’ the space through my senses and conveying my responses through touch (drawing)³, invisible social aspects are intuitively revealed.
¹ Clark, J (2002) The Origin of Drawing: event, embodiment and desire in architectural drawing. Presented at XIXth conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Brisbane.
² Wingham, I (1998) The In-Visible, the (Im)Possibility of its Representation and its Interpretation in Architectural Drawing. TRACEY
³ Pallasmaa, J (2009) ‘The Drawing Hand’ in The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. Wiley
“Pleasurable objects and buildings mediate an experience of the processes by which the object or structure was made; in a way, they invite the viewer/user to touch the hand of the maker.”¹
¹ Pallasmaa, J (2009) The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. Wiley