SHAGGY DOG DRAWING RESEARCH

PhD: long, rambling story or joke, typically one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless

Category: abstract

Future Planning: Which PhD if at all?

Amended diagram 6th January

futures

Interesting supervision session with DH in which I tried to present the M.A. package and look forward to what might come next.

M.A. ‘package’ =

Frayling Cartoon ( DRN Proceedings and THE) and paper ( Published AHHE 2014) (20 drawings)

DRN Hockney Rakes revisited (DRN NY 2013) (16 drawings)

James Elkins 2nd Edition of ‘Artists with PhDs’ illustrations 2014. (20 drawings?)

The above image is my crude attempt to update a previous ‘future map’. The horse-trading going on over various PhD offers at NTU means the water a bit muddied at present especially as I waiting to confirm I actually have a job in 2014-15!

What is certain is that a period of reflection before diving into a full PhD in order.

The above image highlights two possible options. (The third option is leave teaching and pure practice which financially not an option – left hand side of image).

Option One: Phenomenology of drawing and memory of place?

Fine Art practice-led PhD linking to phenomenology of drawing and its link to painting through my interest in both aspects of place and symbolic drawing in the likes of Arshile Gorky and Miro and up to Guston and beyond.

Relates to this abandoned blog on painting practice…BLANK CANVAS

Option Two: The Victorian Sequential Moment ?

If redeployed into Graphic Design next year this would link to both possible animation and film courses within Visual Communications from a ‘Visual Culture’ standpoint. Locates me away from practice in a art history position though.

Relates directly to the revised Art History BLOG here

http://www.shaunbelcher.com/rpt

Drawology: Bonington Gallery Show

Also a nice review in Nottingham Evening Post by Mark Patterson. November 21st 2013.

PEOPLE who can draw, and even those of us who can only manage stick figures, will tell you that drawing is the basis of all art.

The ability to make representational marks on some kind of surface, using some kind of tool, is one of the earliest forms of human expression and everything else, including all the artistic movements and isms, follows on. And today, Joe Public still values artworks which embody a degree of God-given raw skill, including the ability to draw well, more highly than installations, films and sculptures made of shopping trolleys.

What then, will the Man and Woman on the Nottingham Omnibus make of Drawology, the new exhibition of contemporary drawing which opened this week at Nottingham Trent University’s Bonington Gallery?

For sure, this is a show where traditional drawing is ably represented by artists such as Bill Prosser, whose fine black and white pencil drawings of domestic spaces – waste bins, staircase landings – force the eye to zoom in with strange fascination on the very texture of carpets, curtains and loose wires.

Yet this is also an exhibition which also aims to seek out different forms of drawing; to investigate, essentially, what drawing can be in a wider extent.

So, at the other end of the spectrum from Prosser, Deborah Harty’s take on drawing – defined in its essence as the representation of experiences – is an enclosed installation of film projections on a glass table.

Between Prosser’s and Harty’s two kinds of drawing we get a broad range of other forms including film such as Maryclare Foa’s ‘Line Down Manhattan’, which follows her as she walks down to the southern tip of Manhattan while trailing a large piece of chalk fastened to a piece of rope. The wobbly chalk line she leaves on crowded pavements and roads is her drawing of Manhattan.

Most of the artworks here, though, are traditional flat 2D images, albeit using a wide variety of tools, such as chalk, pastels and paints, on paper of varying thickness and textures.

You’ve got to be impressed by Patricia Cain’s huge three-piece, titled ‘Riverside Triptych III’, which recreates a cavernous interior with an overwhelmingly intricate arrangement of metallic struts, railings and platforms.

And you’ve got to like Andy Pepper’s iridescent coaster-size squares, which flash shimmering images of grass at you from the floor.

Shaun Belcher, who lectures at the university, as do several other artists here, displays a minimal, anti-art market ethic with his three flat framed squares, composed of squiggles and occasional autobiographical references, which bear titles such ‘P***ed Off Drawing’.

Sian Bowen, a former artist-in-residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum, is another artist here who plays with the rules.

Her three 3D lightboxes, titled ‘Refuge/Silver’ show patterns that are so faint they are almost not there.

On a bright sepia background they look more like the archaeological imprint of ancient organic forms left in the soil.

They serve to bring the exhibition full circle back to the very roots of drawing as humanity’s earliest artistic attempt to make sense of the world that exists beyond the caves of the eyes.

Drawology can be seen until December 6.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Art-Drawology-Bonington-Gallery/story-20113695-detail/story.html#ixzz2myygvdEO

Abstract Comix – The Anatomy of Drawing?

I was in conversation with Andrei Molotiu the author of the book Abstract Comics (http://abstractcomics.blogspot.co.uk ) and he basically challenged me to go beyond the film derived sequential drawings of earlier in the year and attempt a full abstract comic approach which I duly did yesterday. The result below.

comic

This is based on two symbols that were constant companions in my first period of intensive abstract drawing from 1981-1989. The two objects are based on a barn door and a sheave of barley both distant childhood memory derivations. At this time I was working off an abstract expressionist base where Arshile Gorky and Miro were very important in terms of memory symbols. Here I have used the two objects to tell an abstract sequential story which has abstract speech bubbles. I jokingly called it my autobiography hence the grave symbol at end. The story is subconscious there no direct narrative. I drew the structure of the comic based on memories of similar page structures in comics.

The interesting thing is that it seems to relate directly back to a ‘graphic novel’ I attempted in 1992 (below the front cover). I will try and get rest of sequence scanned which although cartoon based is more conventional cartoon figuration rather than abstract and contains quite a lot of text. For this I thank Simon Lewty ( http://www.artfirst.co.uk/simon_lewty ) who has been a constant source of inspiration in his blend of the narrative, abstract and annotated.

Andrew has asked me for a better quality photo of the work for his blog (see above) so I will update the picture above with a high quality image tomorrow.

App0002

I also just realised that it structurally hints at the kind of emblematic work Alasdair Gray parodied in his ‘Leviathan’ drawing for the front cover of his book Lanark. My memory was obviously remembering the front cover of Richard Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’.

 

Full Circle? Doing and thinking not doing F.A.

Looking at a pencil drawing I did today (called New Yoik Sympathy 🙂 I was reminded of drawings I did in mid nineteen-eighties which scarily nearly thirty years ago! The same motifs are re-assembling from somewhere deep in my brain or maybe they never went away…..just the physical act of drawing did.

Drawing has proved to be my way back into some sort of steady work flow (I hate word ‘practice’ is part of neo-con professionalisation and meant to be uttered by mealy-mouthed curators not artists….I am sure Francis Bacon never said I am involved in a transgressive multi-disciplinary practice….even if he was.)

My future direction seems to be emboldened by trip to New York as I felt that painting/drawing…making art whatever you want to call it still had relevance and importance there and had not been belittled by translation into outcomes. The physical act of making whether in Wool, Motherwell or best of all Mike Kelley’s work was paramount. Kelley had all sorts of resonance across genres (skate/grafitti,zines) and forward in an undoubted influence on a young David Shrigley…anybody looking at works below cannot but see connection. I hope Shrigley wins Turner prize because like Grayson Perry he an active practitioner who creates stuff…oodles of it. THINKING through DOING not DOING FUCK ALL AND THINKING TOO MUCH

Here my latest scribble……Kelley’s drawings and Shrigleys wonderful pisstake of life=life-drawing….you have to look harder…

M.A. assessment and DRN New York

screenshot

I finally had assessment for M.A. stages one and two ‘Research Proposal’ and ‘Development’.
Was a lengthy session which explored where the work might lead in terms of developing as both practice and research.
I also proved the age old maxim that any power-point created on a PC will not work on a MAC..it still true 🙁

DRN_logo_2013

I also had good news about my submission for the Drawing Research network Conference 2013 in New York. My paper was accepted which means I have a lot of work to do between now and M.A. show in October!

More info on DRN Conference here: http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/call-for-submissions-drn-conference-2013/

Studio Diary 13th May: Sequential Drawings?

A rapid set of drawings playing with idea of cartoon abstraction, shop comic strip and film…sequential narratives on a fixed canvas?

Studio Diary: Couple of drawings

clover swifts

 

Continuing the ‘automatic’ drawings which I have started doing in studio when waiting for software to fall over or repair itself..or machinery to work…or when I not reading up about impressionist painting and photography I do these small ‘doodles’…..

I not thinking about them just letting them fall as they might and will analyse later.

 

Starting to look like graphic designer’s maps:-)

R.Mutt – Research Investigator

 

I started to plan out the next phase of the ‘Research Odyssey’ and here two drawings and below the proposal sent to DRN for this year (not expecting to get accepted two years in a row) but happy that last year’s Moogee V Frayling has appeared in the proceedings for DRN 2012:-)

Link to publication here: http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/drn-2012-proceedings/

DRN proposal 2013

2013 A Research odyssey: The art object in search of new knowledge

Parodying both Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Rake’s Progress (Hogarth mashed up with Hockney ) the paper will be a dual submission of traditional academic paper and cartoon strip.

Following on from the previous investigation of Frayling’s categories this time the focus of the research will be the character of ‘The Art Object’ . The paper will chart the rise of the notion of ‘The Art Object’ and search for examples of the ever elusive ‘new knowledge’ which presently beckons like the ‘final frontier’ at the centre of postgraduate artistic research .

It will draw on examples of a range of contemporary theories to try and understand where this ‘knowledge’ may or may not lie and its elicitation (if found) may guide future practice and inform pedagogic delivery especially at PhD level.
Interleaving graphic techniques and traditional academic paper methodology will in itself create a trans-disciplinary enquiry. This enquiry along with an animated sequential version of the cartoon forms the basis of a current M.A. by registered project enquiry into drawing, sequential narrative, animation and the current state of research methodology.

Keywords: Art and design research, PhD, studio art, methodology, practice-led research, final frontiers, new knowledge and woolly theory.

Shaun Belcher
Nottingham Trent University

Submission type:
• Drawn / Practice-based submissions + • Theoretical, philosophical or contextual papers