Tag Archives: Keynote

Keynote Speaker announced for Drawing Out: 2012 – Janet McKenzie

Keynote speaker abstract and author information, Dr Janet McKenzie, research fellow, University of Dundee.

Paper title: Drawing as discovery.

Discovery as both process and destination (verb and noun) is itself a metaphor for drawing, in that drawing in contemporary art practice is multi-faceted, exploratory, free from art-historic convention, or technical definition. It is appropriate that this conference should take place in London whilst two great artists in this country are being celebrated: Lucian Freud, who died last year, and the energetic and inventive, David Hockney. I cannot think of any other artists of recent history and the present whose oeuvre displays the magnificent and varied invention of the drawn image in the hands of a truly great practitioner, the physical act of drawing, the psychological and intellectual journey taken by two artists in one of the simplest, most primal of forms – observational, naturalistic, surreal and dream-like, tender, heart-rending, funny and quintessentially human. After I was invited to write this new book on contemporary Australian drawing, and as I steeped myself in the literature of Australian art of the past 25 years since I left, I had several strong experiences. When colleagues, friends et al asked me what I was doing, I found myself saying, “it’s Australian, but Australia is a concentrated global culture”. The population there being made up descendants of the original white settlers, there are also historic waves of migrants, from all parts of the world. What distinguishes Australia from other new world countries is the spectacular industry of art made by the aboriginal and Torres strait islanders, of great interest internationally, and whose work occupies a pivotal position in Australian culture today. Among many issues to address are those of cultural bricolage and the resultant visual dynamism, which is central to much of their work, alongside the fundamental struggle for identity and survival. In a recent interview I was very pleased to hear the claim that “all aboriginal art is drawing,” for all aboriginal art has a directness of transmission, unlike traditional western art that is built up in layers. Significant mark-making is critical in the assertion of cultural loss and the historic legacy all Australians must strive to reconcile. At drawing out, I will show the work of artists whose work can be described as embracing aspects of notation, discovery, identity, writing and recording, always against a global background. Their work I have found enables the extension of definitions of the boundaries of culture, to explore the complex and remarkable interaction that takes place now more than ever before.

Janet McKenzie grew up in Australia and was educated at the Australian national university in art history and philosophy. She taught at the Canberra school of art, the Victorian college of the arts and college of fine art, university of new south Wales. Her first book, Drawing in Australia: Contemporary Images and Ideas (Macmillan 1986) sought to examine perceptual drawing, observing then: “drawing reveals the subtlest movement, the most clinical analysis, the most precise drama. Modern drawing gives room for alternative reactions – functions assumed by different signs are at once explicit and suggestive. In this sense drawing is as much a record of the subtler elements in our culture as any written or verbal record”. In 1986 Janet McKenzie married architect Michael Spens and moved to Scotland, the following year. Whilst raising a family her studio practice was primarily painting. She also continued writing and publishing and completed her doctorate at the university of St Andrews on the art of Arthur Boyd, under the supervision of professor martin Kemp, published by Thames and Hudson (2000). She has co-edited studio international with Michael Spens since 2000. Her most recent publication contemporary Australian drawing, a study of 78 artists (metasenta/palgrave Macmillan,) will be launched at the university of the arts, London at drawing out, 31 March 2012. In 2011, Janet McKenzie embarked on drawing on two worlds, a practice-led research project using collaborative drawing to explore issues of identity and dispossession in Scotland and Australia. She is senior research fellow at the university of Dundee.

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Keynote Speaker announced for Drawing Out: 2012, Georg Gartner

Key Note Speaker

 Georg Gartner , President of the International Cartographic Association

Institute of Geoinformation and Cartography, Vienna University of Technology


Georg Gartner is a Full Professor at the Research Group in Cartography at the Vienna University of Technology. He holds graduate qualifications in geography and cartography from the University of Vienna and received his Ph.D. and his Habilitation from the Vienna University of Technology. He was awarded a Fulbright grant to the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1997 and a research visiting fellowship to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2000, to South China Normal University in 2006 and to the University of Nottingham in 2009. He is Dean of Academic Affairs for Geodesy and Geoinformation at Vienna University of Technology. He is responsible organizer of the International Symposia on Location Based Services & TeleCartography and Editor of the Book Series “Lecture Notes on Geoinformation and Cartography” by Springer and Editor of the Journal on LBS by Taylor & Francis.

Abstract: Emotional Mapping

Every human perceives urban space differently. Some places are seen to be unsafe, others as especially beautiful. This perception is subjective and emotions of the person influence it. The research domain on emotional mapping deals with collecting subjective perception of space and deriving maps of it. This can be done by applying different methodologies, such as interviewing a group of test persons about their emotional relations and combining all their answers and drawings into relevant databases and maps.

In this contribution the current status of a project called “EmoMap” will be presented.  In this project we try to use the option of volunteered geographic information (VGI) to collect emotional views cities by allowing users of a Web 2.0 community to contribute and share their emotions. The data collection will be done in-situ with current smartphones. Compared to the traditional method this brings the advantage that the collected data is of a more punctual type, e.g. an emotion is not associated with a large area but a point or a small area. Also, the data of many different users can be stored independently without the need to make an aggregation towards one average data set. This allows findings on how specific groups of users perceive their environment, e.g. people of type A think this place is unsafe. This information can be used to design user-adaptive mobility services. For EmoMap we focus on using the collected data for modified route calculation in pedestrian navigation systems. The hereby developed methods and algorithms will then be tested for the hypothesis that the inclusion of emotional data can improve user satisfaction.  All VGI collected during the project EmoMap will be stored in an open online database (OpenEmotionMap.org). Privacy concerns will be addressed.

OpenEmotionMap will we open for other projects and can be used, filled and developed by the community continually.

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2 Keynote Speakers Announced for Drawing Out 2012: John Harding and Professor Mark Burry

John Harding

John Harding is one of Australia’s leading playwrights, with eleven productions staged and /or broadcast here and abroad.He is the founding member of Ilbijerri ATSI Theatre Cooperative (Melbourne), and a tireless worker in the struggle to create a space for Indigenous people on the Australian Stage. Harding wrote “Up The Road” for Ilbijerri’s first production, and went on to win the Australian Human Rights Award, for its second extended production and national tour in 1997, toured nationally by Belvoir Theatre and directed by Neil Armfield. Harding directed his last three major productions: “Enuff at the Malthouse” (2002), “No Parking” (2001) at Theatreworks, and “Second Helping”(2005), at North Melbourne’s Arts House.

Harding is also an accomplished performer, co-writing and co-starring in “Blak and Tran II” (2004) with Hung Le, and “Natives Striking Blak” (2007) for Ilbijerri Theatre. He has worked in television for the ABC’s “Blackout” show, and SBS’s “ICAM Program. He has also written a book of poetry published in 1994 by Dynamo House. During his time at SBS John created the first Indigenous comedy show, “The Masters”, directed by Michael Riley.

Harding has recently moved into film and has made three documentaries, “Nganampa Manta” for the Pitjatjanjara people and “Fitzroy Stars” for Movie Mischief, both bought by Message Stick for ABC television. The third documentary short film was commissioned by City of Melbourne and called “Lets Talk Treaty” as a part of the 2011 Laneways Program.

Harding has lectured on Indigenous theatre in various universities and schools and works in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning.

Abstract: Drawing as discovery!

Harding plans to develop a  paper on the nature of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander “drawing” in its traditional and contemporary senses. The way the traditional practices articulated land, space and place through the drawn mark – and rites, initiation, cultural practices etc. Drawing as discovery of land, lineage, family, weather, role of animals/birds etc – relate traditional to contemporary art and practices. The problems of European colonisation with colonisers bringing their own way of seeing land and space – different perspectives Aboriginal drawing from “looking down on land” perspective; European from “looking across land” perspective etc.

Professor Mark Burry

Professor Mark Burry has published internationally on two main themes: the life and work of the architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, and putting theory into practice with regard to ‘challenging’ architecture; he has also published widely on broader issues of design, construction and the use of computers in design theory and practice.  As architect to the Temple Sagrada Família since 1979, Mark Burry has been a key member within the local design team based on site in Barcelona, untangling the mysteries of Gaudí’s compositional strategies for his greatest work, especially those coming from his later years, the implications of which only become apparent as they are resolved for building purposes. In 2004, in Professor Burry was awarded a ‘Diploma i la insignia a l’acadèmic corresponent’ with the title Il.lustrisim Senyor by the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi in recognition of his contribution to this project.

Abstract: Drawing out the model

We agree that motivation for drawing can range between a fine art perspective to more practical uses such as the representation of intentions and descriptions of undertakings.  At one end of the spectrum there is no presumption of practical utility whereas at the other the effectiveness and therefore value of the drawing will be determined by how unambiguously it communicates its message to others.  This is not to imply that there are different levels of importance or intellectual engagement between these opposites, but it does point to a set of understandings about drawing that inevitably calls on different sets of priorities depending on the intended end use of the drawing.  If a drawing is destined to framed to delight in the gallery that same drawing will offer a wholly different appeal if it were a study destined to inform the plastic experimentation leading to a sculpture.  It is curious that one word encompasses these two quite distinct poles and all that lies in between.

As viewers it is quite clear that we might not presume a single reading of a drawing, but seldom do we have the chance to expect more from a drawing beyond a single ostensible purpose.  The field where a sketch might have appeal both in the gallery and the studio is sculpture, but even when the innate beauty of a sketch leading to a sculpture is admired for its own sake, the fact that its title will almost inevitably point it to being a study for a sculpture may well colour its appreciation.  The gallery destined sketch is less common is architecture although many architects are happy to present their early thoughts – sketches – as drawings with artistic value separate if not actually beyond their original purpose.  One suspects for many mature signature architects the sketch might be their major drawn contribution in highly successful projects and understandably, they would wish its fundamental status be consolidated through exhibition or publication establishing its credentials as the primary distillation of what goes on to be a winning idea.

Where the architect assumes a sculptor’s approach – a strong formal element in the work for example – the simple dialectic between artistic delight and rich source of spatial and material information source becomes less straightforward.  Antoni Gaudí is a case in point.  Many are drawn to his work appreciating the degrees of difficulty he set himself and all those he collaborated with whether it be the structural bravura within his entire oeuvre, his consummate skill as a constructor, colourist, formalist, rationalist, geometer, planner, sculptor and artist.  Almost all his work begs the question “how did he get this done?”  Even his less unconventional work points to an intimate dialogue between architect and maker, indeed far more intimate that would have been common even for his generation.  We read accounts of how Gaudí, the son of a coppersmith, picked-up the tools himself in order to explain his intentions through active example; hardly the commonplace actions of worldly architects of that time whose drawings were far more redolent of opportunity for personal decision-making by the craftspeople charged with working from them.  Drawings then were intended to imply the outcome far more than the highly specific legal documents that architectural drawings have become today.

But just how important were drawings to Gaudí as a principal means to correspond with his builders?  We cannot be certain because what drawings that survived in his studio after his death in 1926 were destroyed when it was sacked and set on fire during the first year of the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, and he wrote nothing at all about any aspect of his practice.  We are aware that his last twelve years were devoted to the Sagrada Família Church and that his principal design medium was plaster modelling and he was drawn to use only sets of intersecting highly evolved geometries having completely eschewed the freeform that had characterised much of his mature earlier work.  We know this through the virtually uninterrupted apprenticeship leading-up to the model makers working on site today.  The Passion Façade, still under construction today, is based not on a scale model like most of the rest of the building but on a drawing.  The drawing does not survive but a plate photograph of it does.  It is more than an ‘ordinary’ drawing, and certainly well beyond a sketch despite it including the essence of the sketch that was subsequently embellished with gouache and charcoal over a long period of time.  Could it be that for Gaudí the model was the drawing and that this key drawing of the Passion Façade, rather than being just an exception is the exception that proves an important point of difference between Gaudí and his peers, and probably every architect since?  Mark Burry has been collaborating with the Sagrada Família Church for over thirty years.  He is currently responsible for the design leadership to complete the Passion Façade, the Sala Creuer (the space above the crossing where the six principal towers join the main body of the church), and the main front (Glory Façade).  In his keynote address he will show that Gaudí always worked in more than three dimensions, and as a consequence ‘drawing’ (2 and 2½ D) and ‘modelling’ (3D) were somewhat constraining regardless of their artistic merits as cultural productions in their own right.  In understanding this like Gaudí we have to draw out from his models into a rather different sense of what drawing has to offer.

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