Art, Materiality and Representation British Museum/SOAS 1st-3rd June 2018

Wendy is presenting a paper for the panel Drawings Of, Drawings By, and Drawings With… on 2nd June 2018 at the British Museum in London.

This panel considers drawing and other inscriptive practices and their relation to creativity. Drawing, broadly, is considered as a form of knowledge production, leading to questions about the nature of the knowledge produced, how it differs from other forms, and the uses of that knowledge.

Wendy’s paper ‘Etching drawing: tactile engagement and temporal evidence’, was selected for presentation by a panel for the conference: Art, Materiality and Representation.

The conference is organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Department of Africa, Oceania and The Americas of the British Museum and the Department of Anthropology at SOAS

Author: Wendy Rhodes Picken (UWE, Bristol)

Abstract: This paper will present an insight into the tactile engagement enjoyed when drawing materials are exploited through the materiality of etching. The etcher who has drawing at the centre of their practice provides a fascinating case study; their enthusiasm for their materials takes their drawing fluently from paper to metal plate and close consideration of surface enables them to trace temporal progress. Ingold, writing about the textility of making, spoke of “the tactile and sensuous knowledge of line and surface that had guided practitioners through their varied and heterogeneous materials…”(2011:211) – a commentary which can be appropriately applied in this context. To illustrate this I will discuss the practice of Jason Hicklin RE whose material understanding of place and process create connections with social histories and, secondly, Ian Chamberlain ARE whose forensic investigation of surface describes a temporal appreciation of place. When drawing engages with etching all senses are awakened to the material processes; from the drag and glide of pencil on paper to the evocative smell of printing ink and the sticky resistance of wax on warm metal. The additional quality of etching is its ability to deliver concrete material evidence of the progression of a drawing by printing a state proof after each enthralling and revelatory process. Through drawing-as-etching haptic and tacit understanding facilitate an exploitation of concepts and materials, and, as such, its materiality is the appeal of this engaging form of expression.

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