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Research : Abstracts

Photography in Graphic Life-Writing
Sarah Blair
'Intimate Archives' Photography and Life-Writing Conference
www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=176&catid=59&prodid=202
Wolfson College, University of Oxford
29 November 2013

This paper looks at photography’s role in variants of life-writing made through drawing. In being primarily visual, this work is well-equipped to respond to detailed qualities of photographic material and offers a promising context for considering how photographs present biographical content.

There is an underlying parallel between the life-writer’s archive-research and the graphic artist’s recourse to photographs. With visual research, the opportunity extends to formal considerations (composition, tone, colour, fragmentation, selection, viewpoint) as well as specifics of content (physical appearances, social context).

Drawing out a life means visualising a world - a substantial exercise in design – and scrutiny of photographs through drawing may shape an evolving work in ways beyond their usefulness as ‘evidence’. To offer a sense of this, I will discuss:
    how differences between drawing and photographic media open up opportunities for playing with issues of truthfulness/authenticity present in any re-casting of a life-story, with or without words.
    how tropes borrowed from still photography offer graphic artists narrative and design options carrying a strong sense of time and memory’s fluidity.
The paper considers drawn biographies made by artists in Europe and North America, among them: Mio Matsumoto, Marjane Satrapi, Art Speigelman, Caroline Sury, Seth.


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Seeing, More or Less: Drawing as Disposition of Perception
Lynn Imperatore
'Drawing in the University Today' International Conference on Drawing, Image and Research
 www.i2ads.org/nd/en/
University of Oporto, Portugal
May 2013

Affiliations:
PhD Researcher/University of the West of England/Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education/Dept. of Art & Design, Bower Ashton Campus, Bristol
Research Student Member, PLaCE Research Centre, UWE
Co-Editor, HATCH: Drawing Project, PLaCE Research Centre, UWE
Post Graduate Chair 2010-2012, Advanced Centre in Drawing (ACiD), UWE

Abstract
This paper considers the practice of drawing in its capacity to apprehend and articulate from the unexpected edges of the visual field/the perceptual world. Drawing is a sleight-of-hand that registers and interprets through layers of vision - shifting regard between the perceived/percept and the imagined/image. In ordinary perception, the disposition of sight is oriented towards expectation. It is a visual regime that reinforces “what meets the eye” (or the “I”). But the view towards drawing allows for reception of other data - a perception that un-enforces to expand or distill apprehension: to allow us to see more, or less than what meets the eye.

This different disposition of perception accessed while drawing is a reconfiguration of vision itself
(in-sight), and therefore a reconfiguration of thought processes - where we can come to see and to know otherwise. Drawing can open onto intervals at the peripheries of vision, onto dormant agents of perception – the subtleties of reflection, the borders of sleep and dreams, the auras and occlusions that flicker across our gaze and our imagination everyday. The observant draughtsman cultivates the ability to withhold aspects of cognition and recognition from perception, therefore purposely refusing to seek conclusion in preconception.

By tracking and recording glimpses into the ephemeral, drawing can reveal a fuller accounting of the embodied life. New views, re-presentations, accidental revelation (from unconscious or unintentional) can expand the scope of knowledge. The success of a drawing’s communication depends not on faithful construction of external reality, but on whether it chronicles the draughtsman’s journey into some otherness of perception.

Works of select artists, historical and contemporary (
William Kentridge, Antonio Lopez-Garcia, Louise Bourgeois, Paula Rego) as well as the author’s own research – will be referenced and addressed in light of these themes.

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Drawing, Dreaming and the Perception of Imagination
Lynn Imperatore
' States of Mind', Situating and Interpreting States of Mind, 1700-2000, An Interdisciplinary Conference
www.northumbria.ac.uk
Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
14-16 June 2012

Affiliations:
PhD Researcher/University of the West of England/Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education/Dept. of Art & Design, Bower Ashton Campus, Bristol
Research Student Member, PLaCE Research Centre, UWE
Co-Editor, HATCH: Drawing Project, PLaCE Research Centre, UWE
Post Graduate Chair 2010-2012, Advanced Centre in Drawing (ACiD), UWE

Abstract
This paper considers possible entries into precincts of imagination and imaginative activity - through a consideration of drawing practice as a method for thinking about or around alterations away from ordinary consciousness, particularly that of our sleeping life.

Drawing interrogates assumed beliefs - apparitions of unassailable reality - by distilling these down into abstracted component parts. The observant draughtsman cultivates the ability to withhold aspects of cognition and recognition from perception, therefore purposely refusing to find conclusion in preconception. New views, re-presentations, accidental revelation (from the unconscious and the unintentional) lead to novel and expanded knowledges. Thus drawing – not unlike the dream - is an encounter between perception and imagination within a choreography that broadens comprehension of and beyond these visual states. Drawing and sleep engage commonality as practices or habits that provide opportunity to discern and delineate qualities of the mysterious embedded within the ordinary.

Central to this study is a shared visual language and sleight-of-hand of drawing and dreaming - imaginative activities that can generate (impossible) imagery, and lead us to a richer apprehension of interior life. Drawing and dreaming are magical manifestations - with hints of broader imaginative territories just over the edge of the page or slipping off into slumber.

Work of select contemporary artists - including
William Kentridge, Antonio Lopez-Garcia, Louise Bourgeois - are located and viewed within their art practice and the relationship of their work that of to creative predecessors from the devotional heyday of the European Renaissance. Artists, particularly in acts of drawing, strive to give visual depictions of that which we may know - but can never actually see.

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Drawing on a Dream
Lynn Imperatore
Drawing Out 2012, Drawn Out Network (RMIT Melbourne & The University of the Arts London), Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, UK
http://newsevents.arts.ac.uk/event/drawing-out-2012/
28 - 30 March, 2012

Abstract
This paper considers possible entries into imagination and imaginative activity through consideration of drawing, as method for thinking about and around alterations away from ordinary consciousness, particularly sleep.

Drawing interrogates assumed beliefs - apparitions of unassailable reality - distilling these into abstracted component parts. The observant draughtsman cultivates an ability to withhold aspects of cognition and recognition from perception; purposely refusing to find conclusion in preconception. New views, re-presentations, accidental revelation (from the unconscious and the unintentional) lead to novel and expanded knowledge. Drawing and sleep engage commonality as practices that provide opportunity to discern moments of mystery embedded within the ordinary.

Central to this is a shared visual language and sleight-of-hand of drawing and dreaming - imaginative activities that generate (impossible) imagery, and lead to richer apprehension of interior life. Drawing and dreaming are magic made manifest, hints of broader imaginative territories just over the edge of the page or slipping off into slumber.

Works by select contemporary artists are discussed, including:
William Kentridge, Antonio Lopez-Garcia, Louise Bourgeois. Artists - particularly in acts of drawing - often strive toward visual depictions of that which we know - but can never actually see.

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Drawing into Knowing: A Natural History
Stephanie Black and Lynn Imperatore, Drawing Research Network Conference 2012, School of the Arts/Loughborough Design School - Loughborough University, UK
www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sota/tracey/DRN_conference_homepage.html
10th and 11th September 2012

Authors: Stephanie Black and Lynn Imperatore
Affiliation: PhD Researchers/University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol
Submission Type: Theoretical, Philosophical, Contextual Paper


Abstract
Drawing Into Knowing: A Collaborative Report on/through Practice (tentative)
Whether drawing commences in strategic suspension of cognition or from a posture that seeks deeper recognition of the considered object, this pair of researchers’ shared method employs the drawn line as a means to trace paths that commence outward from acknowledged deficiencies of information. Both view drawing as tool for exploration, a kind of raw material of thought-made-visible in marks that nibble away at preconception and the limits to knowledge. The resultant records of such thinking are examined as vehicle for conveying discoveries - both to the artists and the wider audience.

Based on the premise that drawing is process, exploratory examples from the co-presenters’ practice-based research will drive this conversational presentation. Openness to the evolution of a drawing is vital to both, an openness that welcomes into the drawing process’ detours and digressions - circumventing predetermined outcomes. In the gaps between hesitant marks on blank paper or obfuscated smudges, we chance upon what we do not know - what requires us as researcher to step back from preconception and focus anew upon the shifting object/subject. Hence, we identify further and unexpected possibilities for our investigations.

The stages of the drawing are evident in its surface, as layers of error and hesitation remain. The materials themselves further reveal oscillation between the known and the unknown – as when pen bleeds on paper in the pause to look more closely. Such stratified disclosure is less common in written text. Hence drawing transcribes thought and insights of a distinctly different quality to those of writing. The confidence and uncertainty coexisting within drawing allows us to reconsider notions of clarity and of assumption of outcome within both research and communication - thereby situating drawing as its own uniquely generative instrument of enquiry.

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