I have had a meeting with the head of research and I have had an agreement that the college will help me fund a final exhibition that focuses on my long time involvement in drawing, both as a practice and as a pedagogy.
There will be several elements of this final exhibition.
The central focus will be of course a show of work and one fundamental issue in relation to this will be framing. Framing large drawings is problematic, and in order to build a lasting legacy I have decided to work with a framer who has had over 20 years experience and who understands the nature of the work. We have already had a meeting and he has measured the drawings, the largest of which are 8 feet high. The first stage will be to make a model of the corner jointing system and backing supports, so that this can be used as a demonstration model for anyone wishing to pursue a similar undertaking in the future. Each stage will be recorded and evidence of the process also posted to this blog. Andrew, the framer, was also a student on the first ever part-time access programme and he obtained his first job as a framer on finishing the access course, so it seems fitting that he is now part of the research and will help towards putting together the final legacy. He is costing the materials this coming week and will also be bringing in equipment so that the framing can be done in the studio.
The whole process of putting the exhibition together, including making a gallery model, will also be used as a learning tool.
The second element will be a publication that will be launched on the exhibition opening. This will be both an exhibition catalogue and pedagogic tool. Different approaches to drawing will be singled out and on the one hand directly linked to ways into understanding what lies behind my own drawings and on the other hand, the issues will be framed up as potential drawing starting points for students. This will be in a very old pedagogic tradition that includes Crispijn de Passe’s manual for artists, which has the wonderful motto on the title page, ‘Nulla dies sine linea’ (Never a day without a line). The catalogue will on the one hand be providing a commentary on the long history of drawing pedagogy and on the other providing drawing exercises for today’s generation of students as well as of course acting as an exhibition catalogue.
I will also give a valedictory lecture, that will explore the narratives of drawing, both as an educational tool and as a philosophical statement. This will be an interweaving of clichés, experiential learning and artist statement.
Underlying all of these issues is a long standing commitment to the exploration of visual narrative and whilst the exhibition is on, I would hope to host a seminar on issues in contemporary visual narratives.
I have been given a date of January 2016 for the exhibition, so have a long lead in and hopefully plenty of time to get this together. Writing about drawing is something that I strongly believe is more akin to creative writing than something that is accessible to academic theory, and therefore I would hope to also be able to explore much more poetic approaches to the development of pedagogic languages associated with drawing within the art school curriculum.