Marks Make Meaning Symposium

I tried to draw my notes for the event, but ran out of steam a few minutes in… much harder than I thought.

visual notetaking

Peter Lloyd opened the event talking about the work of Creative Futures a cross discipline creative community of researchers who with the University of brighton School of Art are sponsoring the ‘Marks make meaning’ events.

Duncan Bullen and Philippa Lyon then looked at three strands, space and place exemplified by the work of Emma Stibbon which looks at the issues of environmental degradation.
Health and Wellbeing identifies practice that explores social wellbeing, such as that of the images from the “Drawing Life” project which engages dementia patient and their carers with life drawing.
Education and Learning looks at the social and political dimensions through activity like the Hummingbird Project which highlights the refugee crisis.
The speakers picked up on these themes, and covered a great breadth of drawing practice and activity.

Isabel Seligman, the Bridget Riley Art Foundation Curator from the Department of Prints and Drawings at the The British Museum looked at how the great range of their collections from Gormley orifices to Rembrant self portraits can be used to encourage drawing. She looked at Penck’s raterised response to Warhol’s idea that an artists should be like a machine, and concerns raised by Reynolds that drawing would send students to sleep.

John Vernon Lord, Illustrator and Emeritus Professor gave a quick journey through his career from student days where he was expected to constantly draw, and has been unable to give up since, be it commissioned work or backups of train tickets. He reflected on Mervin peake who insisted tht it was what was derawn rather than how it was drawn that was important.


Emma Stibbon RA, Environmental Artist, showed the process of results of very large scale drawing of volcanoes and geographical change, using the very materials themselves. She suggested that we try to convince ourselves of permanance despite the inevitability of change.


Tom Hammick, Printmaker and Painter looked at the power drawing has to engender visceral emotions in us, and how he responds in the light of such pieces.

Tom Hammick
Finally Dr Deborah Harty of Loughborough University talked about the various strands of drawing research in the TRACEY project, which supports and documents drawing and visualisation research, and whether drawing is capable of wholly recording its own making, and the thoughts of the drawer.


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