I usually try to keep my different worlds separate. They invariably overlap, of course, and inform/inspire/challenge/strengthen each other. My work, volunteer work, teaching, learning, research, experiments, hobbies, interests are quite distinct from each other but there are some common threads that connect them. I’m finding as I continue to learn about textiles and reignite my creativity, that this is becoming one of those connectors. I’m sure as my practice deepens I will be able to draw inspiration and direction from my other lives. At this stage though, I’m keeping things separate on purpose, so everything retains its own flow.
Annalise Rees from the University of Tasmania, presented a paper called Navigating the unknown in relation to place, space and drawing. *
- In 2014, the technologically driven present, satellites and GPS track and record our every move. Earth has become a ‘known’ quantity. It is 45 years since Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon, and yet the world’s oceans, parts of the Amazon, the great icy wastes of the Antarctic and the whereabouts of flight MH370 remain largely, if not completely unknown. We have developed complex tracking and mapping systems to help us contain, categorise and cope with the uncertainty of being. But, despite these sophisticated systems, gaps in understanding, comprehension and knowledge surround us, not only through ignorance but perhaps more dangerously through arrogance and reliance upon the authority and totality of such systems. To accept that we don’t know and that uncertainty is in fact a useful state of being, to promote enquiry, curiosity and wonder (these being crucial drivers of progress and innovation), is perhaps a more productive approach for examining our presence in the world. This paper will discuss an investigation into how drawing based methodologies might present experience of the unknown in relation to maritime navigation and cartography as locative systems and practices. The paper will investigate current studio research, discussing the use of the studio/exhibition space, field sites and the artist journal to consider how the unknown may be physically and conceptually manifest through the explorative practice of drawing and its use as a means of encountering place and space.
Antonia Aitken, also from the University of Tasmania, spoke about Drawing contested ground
- Using a multidisciplinary approach to making with walking and drawing at its core, I am investigating how a slowed-down and embodied awareness may invite a more dialogical or conversational interaction with land. As writer Rebecca Solnit describes ‘conversation is, among other things, a more democratic model, as well as one closer to the systematic interdependence of ecosystems, than the monologue of mastery and masterpieces…’ (Solnit 2001, p. 5).How can we then use walking and drawing processes to begin to breakdown or query some of the dominant pictorial and narrative frameworks that continue to stifle meaningful relationships and understanding between indigenous and settler Australians about land?
How do we formulate responsible, ethical attachments to land that are not based on ownership as a form of entitlement? As Deborah Bird Rose reminds us ‘Country is not ours… country is an intergenerational, interspecies gift of life’ (Rose 2014). I am exploring this notion of the gift, believing that for necessary change to occur, it is essential to enter into a dialogical relationship with country that stems from acknowledgment, responsibility and celebration.In my current research I am also looking notions of multiple-place encounter as a more communicative project that moves us away from a framework of favoring ‘special’ or ‘home place’ attachments. How do we carry various locations and attachments with us as we move through new spaces and how does the journeying process allow us to interact and locate ourselves within a broader worldview or ‘other’ narratives?
This paper will look at a range of walking and drawing experiments that explore these questions and track my journeying across country in search of a better understanding of the way different environments inform and are informed by us.
Sarah Pirrie from Charles Darwin University Runoff – drawing a becoming nature
- This paper examines the material processes of drawing installation Runoff; first exhibited in 2012 at Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA) and recently as part of a group exhibition 135th, Meridian, East, at Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF). Made within the geo-climatic conditions of Darwin, Northern Territory, Runoff, explores Naturing (becoming Nature) through spatio-temporal variants, including climatic influences on the medium of paper/pulp, beach collecting after anthropogenic disturbances combined with wet and dry season relational changes to matter and form and the formless between. Central to the premise of this artwork is the meta-language of drawing as an act of trace and a continuum of action and process that re-enacts environmental conditions and complexities of the Human/Nature nexus.Walking along the beach today is an active pursuit undertaking changes of lexicon from Nature Reserve to fishing spot, Traditional land to recreational zone (to name but a few). With each affect comes a myriad of processes and behaviours for Nature. The beach, or to be more expansive the littoral zone including intertidal mangrove environments, has become a socio-ecological hotspot reflecting a new era of human forming Nature. This land sea borderline articulates the dichotomy of nature and culture, within a framework of use and identity. Here anthropogenic disturbance is seen at a local or regional level. It is the “pulse” disturbance of community events and attitudes; the annual Darwin Beer Can Regatta or firework celebrating Territory Day, the weekend fishing trip or sunset drinks.Runoff considers the ontology of becoming in a time related practice that choreographs the emplacement of people within the environment through physical positioning and new cognitive imaginings of Nature. The material processes of Runoff understand drawing within contemporary notions of materiality, permitting the sourcing of content through the material presence of the artwork. Drawing a becoming Nature allows for a dynamics of matter to provoke thought: matter is charged with a divergent force