Utility of the Line

Philippa Lyon, Martha Turland

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


The invitation to curate an exhibition of the Drawing Research Interest Group (DRIG’s) work emerged in 2013, as a parallel but related part of the Mobility of the Line exhibition. The aim was to show an extended range of approaches to and understandings of drawing, through staff and research student work-in-progress and examples of research into applied drawing practices. The common interest in the line’s utility underpins DRIG. It is a notion debated and interpreted in a range ways by the group: as an arts practice, a research method and as having multiple and cross-disciplinary applications. The potency and utility of the line can result from ancient or contemporary technologies of mark-making. There is sometimes a sense in higher education that drawing has been overtaken; that it is lodged in pedagogical past where observational drawing formed a core part of an art school training. The Utility of the Line exhibitors could be seen as part a long tradition of drawing, but one that continues to evolve, investigate and inquire. The group showed how experiences and affordances of drawing continue to be crucial in exploring a wide range of issues. Each member of the Drawing Research Interest Group is concerned with significance, practice and potential of drawing, whether with lines, dots, in clay or textiles, on paper or through software programmes and performance. In and through drawing, questions have arisen for us about why this considered practice of mark-making is not only relevant now, but seems to us to hold so much promise of new forms of practice and new knowledge. Drawing can be a practice that holds our attention in contemplation and which, as a finished piece, continues to asks the viewer to dwell on issues of temporality and perception. It can provoke and enable questions about bodily and metaphysical disturbances to be expressed, relating for example to processes of memory or identity, issues of anatomical and surgical understanding, and the experiencing and conceptual mapping of pain states. A cluster of research carried out by DRIG members investigates the relationships between drawing practices in different professions or in collaborative, cross-disciplinary education. This cluster has grown through a collaborative research relationship with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and with medics and surgeons elsewhere, two of whom were included in the show. This exhibition helped consolidate these collaborative relationships and disseminate the preliminary research to a much broader audience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2014
Eventexhibition - University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts, Grand Parade, Brighton, 7th March-9th April 2014
Duration: 7 Mar 2014 → …


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