Drawing and pedagogy
There are several approaches to drawing that are used within the traditional art school. Over the last few years these have been seriously questioned and the debate as to how and why drawing can continue to be important has been heightened by the need to justify the continuing presence of spaces traditionally regarded as sacrosanct. Spaces such as the life drawing room, drawing studios and spaces and equipment, (such as easels and donkeys) for students, that have traditionally supported drawing practice. The concept of drawing as an expanded field has questioned its relevance in a similar way to how sculpture’s relevance was threatened during the 60s and 70s. Managers have slowly eroded facilities such as metal casting, dedicated sculptural spaces for carving or large scale construction and replaced them with generalist spaces and more access to computer terminals. It would appear that this could also be the fate of spaces for drawing.
This presentation is an attempt to answer the question of a continuing relevance and provides a few suggestions as to how as an activity it can remain truly central to art education practices.
The rise of an interest in Phenomenology has meant that there is a growing awareness of the implications of the embodied mind thinking. In particular I wish to look at drawing as an interface that can lead towards cognitive extension.
Introducing students to drawing as a tool for thinking and processing is a continuing challenge for art and design schools. Each discipline has evolved a set of procedures and types that it accepts as being fundamental to practice, however these ‘tropes’ have been gradually eroded and what were at one time fundamental skills, such as perspective and observational drawing are no longer seen as essential.
However in the fine art area there has been a resurgence of drawing, not least because of its capacity to be used as a bridge between the immediacy of perception and the moment of cognition. It is this moment, this joint between one thing and another that allows for a rich series of investigations and possibilities to be developed.
So what are the new essentials?
Head of Contextual and Theoretical Studies: Leeds College of art and Design
Interested in weaving together the narratives and gaps between being a fine art practitioner, teaching theory, developing educational management and how the construction of a socially responsible art practice can be possible within the parameters of our present society.
Research interests are an extension of both Fine Art practice and pedagogic interests.
The role of drawing as a thinking tool is central to his research within Fine Art practice and reflects a long standing interest in visual education.
The interrelationship between text and visual images, in particular the history of Ekphrasis, or how different art forms can be used to heighten awareness of each other is a more recent interest and stems from the fact that the idea of what it is to be an artist has often developed through contact with fictional narrative.