Drawing Heritage(s)

  • Duncan Bullen (Presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


Keynote: Drawing Proximity: Dwelling and Being Present
If, as the conference theme suggests our experience of landscape is not something we look at as detached observer, but is, rather something we live in, and is inherently bound to our lived experience; how then, do we begin to make sense of such experience? How do we configure and communicate experience, and how do we know if our experience is genuinely meaningful? I will explore these questions through a methodology that is essentially phenomenological, yet draws explicitly from the pragmatism of John Dewey. In particular, Dewey's contention that art resides in experience, with its philosophical challenge to the Western ontological partitioning of mind-body and his advocating of the embodied context of human interactions.
I propose to do this by focusing on a series of artworks titled Breath Drawings (2015 - 2019) in which the repeated action of drawing single lines with pencil on paper aligns with a practice of mindful meditation (counting the breath). A phenomenological approach, in this instance, examines how the act of drawing; the movement of the line, is not separate from the maker and bodily interaction with changing environments. In this practice, drawing is not a mimetic representation of the world, but rather an enactment of an event. Central to this are notions of dwelling, in which being present and making present allow for measured distance and proximity to inhabit a paradoxical space. One in which we touch the world at a visceral level as a means of bringing forth the qualitative dimensions of experience.
Period28 Sept 2019
Event titleDrawing Still Places: Drawing Heritage(s)
Event typeWorkshop
LocationÉvora, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Drawing
  • heritage
  • phenomenology
  • Presence
  • practice-led research
  • pragmatism