I am currently working on two drawing based projects. The first is the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru Schools Award Project 2014. The focus of my part in this project, apart from Josef Herman, is drawing – more specifically, drawing and digital media (iPads). See below for examples on video from this project.
The second is a research project run by Cathy Treadaway with CARIAD at Cardiff Metroplitan University – Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design.
Both projects fit well with my approach to drawing. Drawing is about looking and understanding. By observing the things around us (or within ourselves) and transferring that observation to the drawing medium, we can understand and appreciate more of what we observe. For this to happen we must look, look and see. The more we look, the more we see, the better we understand. The deeper our understanding of the world around us, in my view, the closer we come to balance within that world.
Our understanding of drawing has widened in recent decades. The traditional techniques of pencil or charcoal on paper (amongst others) have been augmented. My own drawing used often to be charcoal on paper (a medium I love). These days I think of some of the work I do with wire and weave, as drawing – it is a way of working out ideas in my head that need a means of expression. The full expression, however, does not appear until a finished piece is produced. The “sketchbook” I took with me recently to Crickhowell, to show my tapestry workshop participants, was a table full of bits of weaving and wire, three dimensional trials and experiments – there was no paper.
When producing my StillWalks videos, the first step (most of the time) is to carry out a recce walk. I don’t take my cameras and only take photos on my iPhone. I think of this as drawing. It is my first sketch of the environment where, on production day, I will gather the content for the finished StillWalks video.
The digital medium element of the Josef Herman project is the iPad. All of the schools I am working with use iPads in their classrooms and so were familiar with them. They were less familiar with using them for drawing. However, David Hockney, through the use of his iPad, has shown the world a good example of the widening array of methods to record our observations and express our imagination and understanding.
Below are some examples of drawing by 9 and 10 year old children based on Josef Herman’s work. The children modelled as figures from Herman’s works and drew each other on both paper and iPads.