“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