All new webby stuff here..
The Arts Humanities in Higher Education ‘new voice’ paper ‘ Can grey ravens fly: Beyond Frayling’s categories’ has finally been published to paper in latest copy of journal.
It appears in a special issue devoted to ‘Theorising Practice in Creative and Applied Arts’. It is alongside a range of papers presented at the ‘Practice Makes Perfect Conference’ at Swansea Metropolitan University in September 2012. I would like to thank Howard Riley and Amanda Roberts for their kindness there and for giving me this opportunity.
It is my first main journal publication after a couple of conference papers in proceedings.
The pdf is available through download from SAGE website if subscribed through institution and I can share with colleagues in private so please request. I cannot post separately on internet for copyright reasons.
If interested in abstracts and other my research please go to
ACADEMIA EDU : https://nottinghamtrent.academia.edu/ShaunBelcher#
Surprise of the week was news that Moogee had his own chapter in a new Loughborough/UAL/Teachers Columbia publication 🙂
This is the final entry in the studio diary section as I will be assessed on my M.A. this Wednesday afternoon. To prepare for this I have created the pdf below and uploaded to Scribd detailing the progress made throughout the M.A. and the final outcomes at this point.
Where I go from here is a good question and not one I can answer easily.
There are three separate yet overlapping areas I have become deeply interested in.
1. Drawing research ; phenomenology of drawing and in particular an interest in sense of place and notions of ‘signature’ in terms of preparatory drawings especially in Gorky, Miro up to Motherwell and Twombly all developing out of the surrealism and dada influence on mid-century American painting.
2. Early film/photography and magazine culture of the 18th Century/early 19th century and its relation to current developments in web. I have a paper to present in Paris on Charles Dickens magazine illustration end of March and I will be concentrating on that alone from now until then.
3. The continuation of this research into artistic research theory/philosophy of aesthetics and its dissemination through fine art pedagogy.
All three are possible PhD subject matter and how my institution views my future will probably have a major bearing on where I go.
My heart though probably in number one…..my head in number three and my teaching future at present tied up somewhere in number two whether I like it or not…….
Interesting times ahead 🙂
Meanwhile I’d like to thank Deborah Harty for her very good supervision and for stopping me going off-track all the time or as they like to say in academia develop ‘focus’. Focused I am right now but come Thursday who knows:-)
please note the backgrounds have distorted in this display.
James Elkins illustrations..half way through when this photo taken in studio…completed today there 12 in all which will illustrate the 2nd Edition of his book ‘Artists with PhDs’ which has been revised and made larger.I had the pleasure of illustrating my ex-Dean and others. No detailed pictures as want to be surprise in book when it published. Thanks to Jim for allowing me to do this.
This series completes the third drawn sequence that I will be submitting for my M.A. assessment next Wednesday 22nd January. At the age of 55 I will finally get a Fine Art M.A. to add to the B.A. which I received a very long time ago….1981 in fact which 32 years ago! Unbelievable.
Further info. HERE: James Elkins Website
Spent afternoon at studio reading final submitted chapter of the 2nd edition of James Elkins’ ‘Artists with PhDs’. The article was Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield’s ‘Writing as practice: Notes on materiality of theory for practice-based PhDs’. This is a very fitting coda to my never-ending M.A. by research project which I started way back in September 2010 and which will finally end at end of January. It especially pertinant as Dronsfield has supervised at least two ‘challenging’ practice as research PhDs at Reading University and his analysis of art practice as ‘knowledge’ from Ranciere and Nancy points of view is superb in its pinning down of the fundamental fault-line in all art practice as research in terms of the academy.
He goes back to Kant’s third critique to mine into the basis of the ‘compromise’ all fine artists feel when confronting then toppling into the Cartesian well of rules that is the university. Most drown in the essential contradiction of ‘freedom of the artist’ V ‘the academy’ rules. Dronsfield brilliantly excavates the reason for this which present right back in Kant ( written 30 years before the first scientific ‘rational’ PhDs awarded in Berlin in early 1800s).
I will be illustrating the argument next week but essentially the ground was set early in the following paradox and leads the art practice as researcher to always be left in a APORETIC SPACE.
The humanities are in an important sense opposed to the aesthetic. The humanities draw the artist back from the truth of art, mind which is freedom, ailment from the way in which art threatens to present or show its freedom unconditionally, back to the social, to the way in which art might communicate the ideas it seeks freely to express. (Jonathan Laney Dronsfield – forthcoming article in Elkins book).
Never thought I’d end up here..started out with a locative media project end up deep in continental philosophy…
Problem is I actually enjoying it…a PhD prison cell beckons …..
Amended diagram 6th January
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
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.
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.
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.
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’.