Practicing Presence: Drawing Near and Far

Duncan Bullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper takes the experience of drawing within two sites in states of transition, as a starting point to explore the changing nature of place as a catalyst for lived experience. Working from phenomenological perspective, I propose an alignment of manual drawing practice with meditation (mindful awareness), to ask how the act of drawing ‘… the state, or the being that is in question cannot be detached entirely from the sense of gesture, movement or becoming.’ (Nancy 2013). Through a discussion of a non-representational drawing practice and mindful awareness (counting the breath), I will argue that drawing as process enables an experiential and intimate engagement with the world as ‘grounded in availability and access’ enabling ‘presence’ (Noë 2012). One that allows us to experience the physicality of spaces and the living body not as separate realities, but as entities that are thoroughly and deeply entwined, in which there is no separation of self, other and the lived environment. Dwelling (being present) and touch (making present) are key factors in this, as a means of understanding experience of the embodied self in relation to artistic expression and resulting knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalTRACEY: Drawing and Visualisation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019


  • Drawing
  • Mindfulness
  • Presence
  • Dwelling
  • Phenomenology


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