SHAGGY DOG DRAWING RESEARCH

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

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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

Comic and Sequential Research: New Blog

pickwick-papers

 

No studio diary entries this week as I only made it into studio for an hour. Various work related problems kept me busy and rest of time I was starting new research at home.

My next conference is in Paris in March. It continues the theme I started exploring in Amsterdam Film-Philosophy Conference. This is the role of Victorian magazine illustration (disseminated by the railway) in development of sequential narrative that became film and comic art.

The new blog here: http://www.shaunbelcher.com/rpt

I have separated from this ‘Graphic Research’ blog as although related the focus there is very much on the art historical angle (Frayling’s ‘Research INTO Design’ NOT through or for which this practice-led blog is more concerned with).

I have already discovered a mine of information including original Dickens annotated sketches by his illustrators. My intention is to look at the ‘sequential moment’ and try and establish if the mass circulation of the first Pickwick Paper pamphlet might be a significant milestone in sequential terms.

This I will then relate to the cross-disciplinary proliferation of images and tropes in an attempt to build a firmer picture of what cartoon/drawing, comic and photography actually meant at this time.

I am also looking at the role of technology based on Brian Winston’s political analysis after Raymond Williams.

Here a steel engraving by Phiz from the Pickwick Papers from March 1837.

Source : http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/phiz/pickwick/28.html

phiztrial

 

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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…

Drawology – 18th November to 6th December – Bonington Gallery Nottingham

drawology

These are the three images to be shown in Deborah Harty’s curated show ‘Drawology’ at the Bonington Gallery from next week.

After New York – back to earth

After the great time in New York ( Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim were fantastic) it is back to earth with a bump (work) and time to take stock of what to do next on M.A. as complete at end of January 2014. I have been in touch with James Elkins and there only a couple of chapters still to come in book so I can concentrate between now and Xmas in getting that sequence completed. I also need to update the Rakes Redrawn sequence with some Hogarthian written titles mimicking original and Gilray etc. Whether this will be enough to get into the DRN proceedings I not sure but as whole idea was that this piece was ‘drawing-led’ not written a full paper seems inappropriate. I may take ideas and rewrite into a separate paper though.

Here some images from New York conference – the final image is Yoon Bakh’s take on my talk as a visual ‘scribe’:-).

Art Object’s Progress complete

hockers

Have completed the sequence of ‘remashed’ Hockney and Hogarth.

1. In art research new knowledge is believed by some to be contained in the communicable, verbalised exposition of that knowledge NOT in the actual art work.

If this is so is there therefore any new knowledge contained in the actual art work?

If there isn’t then the paper could be said to be the art work NOT the art object itself?

If the paper contains knowledge and is the art work would it therefore require a further exposition i.e. another paper?

Or is there no communicable new knowledge in art research?

Studio Diary : Mapping ‘New Knowledge’ sequence after Hockney

I have now finished drawing the 16 ‘plates’ imitating Hockney’s Rake’s Progress but using it as a template for mapping concerns over the place of ‘new knowledge’ in art research.

It already becoming a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of a task. Firstly there is the original Hogarth moral tale, then there is Hockney’s New York adventure ( which has overtones of Whitman and Dreiser apparently – his reading at the time). Then there is the Duchamp tale of the urinal (again New York based) and the Kubrick overtones of the ‘Muttley’ spaceman as art object character and finally the whole point of the exercise ‘ investigating’ new knowledge whatever that is…

Here I finally sinking into the real question….via Polanyi’s ‘Tacit Knowledge’ and Eisner’s ‘Art and Knowledge’. Phew…the latest drawing in sequence divides the philosophical roots and branches (literally) as best I can ( open to debate of course). I have tried to show the ‘new knowledge’ foliage in the tree as the most recent and most referenced at the ‘Practice makes Perfect’ conference. So this just a rough mapping of current fashions and directions at best.

Drawing it out like this (literally) is really helping me focus on what actually seems to be going on. The Slager attempt to bridge the cartesian/ embodied knowledge divide and the way Frayling’s categories and their impact is actually quite separate to the philosophical underpinning which far wider ranging. The previous paper analysed Frayling’s  influence on art and design research in general rather than just fine art. The philosophical debate around embodied/tacit and where new knowledge may be located ( or not) is very much a fine art concern and seems to me at heart of the instability of the art school with regard to research within the ‘academie’.

wallrakes

Studio Diary: Art Object’s progress image two.

The second image from the Hockney Rake’s Progress parody rebranded as art research.

Already the visual story becoming complex if going to map the version of Hogarth into a research tale! In this image ‘The Inheritance’ the art object ( I calling him/her ‘Muttly’ after R.Mutt signature on the Duchamp urinal) is receiving the inheritance of art research categorisation and theory from Sir Christopher Frayling. Thus ‘in, for and by’ and a litter of papers and books….meanwhile Bruce Archer’s paper is overshadowed and the ‘New Knowledge’ monolith floats over a wobbly map of the UK academic scene:-) Next image is called ‘Meeting the good people’ and will involve three statues and three philosophers.

raketwo

and original

Inheritance

The original sequence of 8 Hogarth pictures here: http://www.soane.org/collections_legacy/the_soane_hogarths/rakes_progress/

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