Drawing, line and gesture – seminar at Fabrica with Tania Kovats, Jerwood, FRAC Picardie and the Drawing Room London

23rd July 2014 6:00pm-8:00pm


Kate MacFarlane, Co-Director and Curator of the Drawing Room, London, a not-for-profit gallery dedicated to the investigation and presentation of international contemporary drawing.

Prof. Anita Taylor, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK.

Yves Lecointre, Director of FRAC Picardie – a gallery, resource centre and international collection dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing, located in Amiens, France.

Tania Kovats, Artist and Henry Moore Fellow in Drawing, Advanced Centre In Drawing, Bristol School of Art and Design, UWE; Course leader, MA Drawing, Wimbledon College of Arts.

Offers professional practice
Opportunity to show artwork
To create dialogue around drawing projects so artists can better understand drawing, participate and to create tools for creative development.
Jerwood framework is an open forum, portable tours from September
Selection is from artwork, not photographs of artwork.
Their selection in a way defines what drawing is, influences price of drawing and profile of the artists.
Funded through a charitable foundation, criteria is fixed to domicile UK.
Some drawings include film and sound.
Kate Macfarlane
Drawing Room London is a non-profit organisation.
Explore, research and platform contemporary drawing.
To get going artists in the building they were based (Towry Arts) donated drawings on a sized piece of paper for their first show, sales went to get the project going. (Don’t necessarily continue to exhibit these artists in their shows but don’t exclude them either).
Test the parameters of drawing now in practice. Create opportunities for artists to explore and take risks in their practice, and opportunities for the study of drawing.
Invite guest curators: Knut Henrik Henricksen, Boyan Sarjavik, Anna Barriball, Johanna Calle.
Artist curated exhibitions include Richard Deakin – abstract drawing and earliest forms of contemporary drawing.
Eva Hesse – Stitch
Ed Atkins – drawing and film
Drawing Room biennial – exhibition hung alphabetically, drawings donated and auctioned, supported by Outset Contemporary Art Fund*

1985 – dedicated to drawing.
FRAC 1per region, each mission is the acquisition of works by living artists, showing work, engaging the public.
For French and non-French artists, has connections to surrealism.
As the Collections have grown the definition of drawing has developed in different directions: 2D to3D, graphic systems,  automatic drawing, wire sculptures, performance, new technologies and new spaces.
Drawing as something that exists with space and time, on and outside paper, with and without line.
He then referred to different artists:
Bernard Mainot – drawings on glass and light, smoke/dust.
Marc Couturier – drawing a landscape like writing, starts top left and draws in lines across finishing bottom right.
Sol lewitt
David Tremlett
William Kentridge – drawing movement
Maureen Selwood – animated drawing projected through seven veils
Anthony McCall – black room, smoke and white light prisms

TANIA KOVATS, leader MA Drawing Wimbledon,
Makes drawings, doesn’t always draw drawings
Recognised she has absorbed the drawings of others
‘Drawing as a mechanism of thinking…not just for artists’
Books include: The Drawing Book, Drawing Water
‘I draw when I’m lost…I draw to find myself…and I draw to get deeply lost’
‘My drawing practice is the place where I withdraw…a very private practice’
All work refers to landscape
‘Meadow’ project – grew and placed a meadow on a long boat, drew a line in the waterways of England that dissipated.
Drawing as a conceptual work.
Drawing records our thinking throughout our culture
TK cast birch trees then painted with ink the marks for installation commission.
She often works with what is already there, tracing.
‘Rivers’ project – was sent water from around the World, constructed a boathouse, waters presented in that place beside water.
She sets drawing tasks that leave her in a place for contentment.
Freud – drawings to visualise his thinking.
Silvia Selman – drawing the surface of the sea.
TK heads up MA Drawing at Wimbledon, works with biologists, etc not just artists on how drawing can improve their work. Drawing therefore is embedded into new processes.
TK new personal directions look at mapping with drawings, created a 3D piece, very complex, invited people to draw it or to map it. The piece will be melted (mostly metal) to create an object, so drawing continuation, transformative, and endless form of communication.

What are the shifts in drawing?
Anita: how to apply drawing to enrich practice. Before it was less accessible, now is “a hugely democratic system of communication”.
Kate: sculptors have introduced drawing into their work, Mel brockner, Sol DeWitt.
Drawing is an activity, not a medium.
Union of technical ability and ideas.
Artists are bringing together drawing approaches with new technologies.
Yves: France has developed recent interest in drawing. “Every artists needs to know how to draw…drawing is often the first step to becoming an artist”. He also commented there’s been a resurgence in Collage.
Tania: Historically it’s been in the hands of the artist, now there is a more direct connection. Was often associated as what an artist does but has been developed since. She said there was no hierarchy in her work between drawing or other, it’s now a huge and diverse range of practice.
“Drawings are made, not drawn”
Drawings are defined by a position, a connection with all the other drawings that have ever been made…not just drawings of artists but thinking across other disciplines…a visual trace.
Q: What is the neurological relationship between drawing and being human?
TK: It’s making spaces…human impulses to make a work and how we mark our environment.
She talked about the alpha state an artist can draw in which gives them the mental state to drift.
Q: How do scientists visualise their thinking?
TK: Gave the example of geological transections which completely transformed understanding of time in the landscape. 
Drawing as tracing can be a kinetic activity, the human element within the form.
Anita: Visual language is immediate and economic. Drawing is seeing what you are thinking.
Q: What are the challenges in the future for drawing?
Kate: digital must play a part
Yves: today it is freer than other techniques because you can use them all in drawing (TR so does that mean that other methods need redefining?)
Anita: drawings may function to help us understand different systems that apply how we value things…intrinsically. Anxieties of young people: speed of drawing and bombardment of visual data in digital capacities…how to make space to look at a humble still mark…how to find stillness to look…drawing as creating experience of stillness.
I’ve written to Tania Kovats to invite her to teach a short course.

Outset Contemporary Art Fund is a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting new art by bringing private funding from its patrons, partners and trustees to public museums and art projects. Since its inception in 2003 the foundation has supported a range of projects at leading visual arts institutions, from exhibitions, education and residency programmes to publications and capital campaigns. Outset has chapters in England, Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Greece, Scotland and the United States.
Outset England uses its independent platform to give new audiences proximity to the visual arts, building long-lasting relationships within the international artistic community. Adressing the need for flexible, early-stage funding within the public arena, Outset England enables ambitious non-commercial ventures and acquisitions. Since its inception, the fund has supported most of London’s leading visual arts institutions with capital campaign, education, outreach and programming needs and donated over one hundred works of challenging contemporary art to public institutions across Britain and abroad. Outset England has a range of programmes, enabling supporters to direct their patronage to different areas of interest. Supporters attend curator-led gallery tours, studio visits, talks and international trips, allowing for a deeper understanding of the artists and organisations that work with Outset.
For further information please download the Outset brochure.
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