Artistic Statement

As an artist teacher, my work aims at exploring the experiential value of drawing as a form of critical enquiry characterised by a timeless state of incompleteness recalling mankind’s continuous journey of becoming on paper and beyond its linear boundaries. Theory and practice meet in the drawing process as a visually poetic praxis, nourishing one’s intrinsic sense of wonder for the unknown and bringing about instances of meaning-making and learning compelled by the artistic process itself.

Such applied enquiry is drawn on a personal narrative of becoming both as an artist and researcher; a journey informed by theoretical and practical avenues of thought, which culminate in captivating visual forms that unite thought and action in the creative process. The latter process of becoming succeeds to transcend the linear boundaries of the paper, as other forms of creativity manifest themselves in other aspects of life, where new knowledge is continuously formed and reformed.

My art practice is grounded on the regular and intensive dedication to the life class, which is postulated as a practical site to rehearse my performative capacities of research, which are grounded on the sheer observation and visual understanding of the human body. In this sense, life drawing is regarded as a form of ethnographic field of enquiry that puts me, as an artist and thus art researcher, in the position to witness, study and eventually document the visual narratives and experiential knowledge conveyed by human forms. The utter manifestation of the self is thus stimulated by the corporeal presence of others, through an interactive mode of observation that draws on the meaningful relationship that exists between experience, practice and research, which act as knowledge signifiers.

Such art practices eventually result in the development of contemporary studio-based drawing approaches that are regarded as essentially interpretative forms of art, particularly fuelled by dynamic semiotic processes. In this view, the purpose of drawing is not restricted to the mere representation of the external world, but is valued as a tool to construct alternative visual realities based on thoughtful negotiation between external visual signifiers and in-built symbolic systems. Indeed, such concepts value the poetic space of drawing for its power to unite verbal and non-verbal forms of expression. In this sense, whilst drawings take the form of non-verbal poems, poetry takes the form of a verbal image.

My non-verbal and verbal works draw on possible conclusions from the previous enquiring discourses that explore the nature of drawing as a true learning experience that involves an audacious leap into a new ontological space; a space characterised by a continuous renewal of the self. In turn, such artistic processes nurture my view of the world as a state of intermittent change, through a phenomenology of thought and action uniting concrete experience and consciousness into an ephemeral and yet visually tangible dimension.

References:

Atkinson, D. (2002) Art in education: Identity and Practice, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Bachelard, G. (1994) The Poetics of Space, Boston, Beacon Press.

Carr, W. and Kemmis, S (2004) Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research, Lewes: Falmer Press.

Claxton, G. (1999) Wise up: The Challenge of Lifelong Learning, New York: Bloomsbury USA.

Descartes, R. (1989) The Passions of the Soul, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company.

Jones, R. (2014) ‘On the value of not knowing: wonder, beginning again and letting be’ in Fisher, E. and Forthum, R. (eds.) (2014) On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, London: Black Dog Publishing.

Mayhew, M. (2010) Modelling Subjectivities: Life-Drawing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Art Education, unpublished thesis. [Online], Available: https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/2123/9542/1/2010_Margaret_Mayhew_thesis_.p df [Accessed 5th March 2017]

McWilliam, E. (2007) Unlearning How to Teach. [Online], Available: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3ApYg0EaztZLEJ%3Awww.creativityconference07.org/presented_papers/McWilliam_Unlearning.doc%2BUnlearning%2BHo w%2Bto%2BTeach&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us [Accessed 6th March 2017]

Sacks, S. (2004) in Harlan, V. (ed.) (2004) What is Art? Conversation with Joseph Beuys, Stuttgart: Claireview, p. ix-x.