Drawing dust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in how the material power of dust can be explored through the affective process of drawing to generate a new way of looking at the inevitable disintegration of the material world around us. This paper will discuss a body of drawings and prints that show how art and science have very different ways of investigating and communicating with the world around us. I am looking to science to provide an image, a particular view of the world, generating otherwise inaccessible information, but I then use a material art practice to incorporate things that are beyond the reach of science, things that science cannot engage with ‐ the emotional, irrational, imaginative and historical ways in which we live. The body of work under discussion emerges from a research project undertaken in collaboration with an expert in the field of scientific imaging and analysis to examine particles of dust. The project considers dust as an overlooked and valuable material archive that can speak in a new way about human history and our material lives. Using state-of-the-art scientific technologies, I am able to make visible otherwise invisible particles of dust, the material that persists and remains, the omnipresent evidence of past existence. Key to the project is how the technological image that emerges from scientific analysis looks unlike anything we ordinarily see around us. The technology used to produce the scientific image creates something that seems distant, disconnected from our experience. It is this disconnection that drives me to use the slow pace and the tactile, material body of graphite drawing to transform the image using the eye and the hand in order to reconnect it with a more human, understandable way of knowing about the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-208
Number of pages16
JournalDrawing: Research, Theory, Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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