Through my practice-based research, I introduced new interpretations and theoretical frameworks in which to consider representations of landscape – bringing together older processes and notions of landscape with modern practical technologies, drawing together the banality of road traffic websites with traditional romantic notions of painted landscapes. Interpreted through a hand drawn process, the finished works uniquely partnered throwaway, temporary images of Icelandic roadsides with art historical dialogues. Implicit in this investigation was the juxtaposition of different perceptions of time: those steeply accelerated and relentless (Jonathan Crary 2014) through the impact of technologies – presented here through the repeatedly updating, utilitarian website images – and those decelerated, paused by the contemplative, embodied process of making the drawing.
My investigations into the phenomenology of perception and the embodied process of making (Merleau Ponty 1964) uncovered a means by which the image was able to reference elements connected to both the landscape and the making of meaning through marks particular to drawing, while tapping into the weight and depth of painting’s history. The images were unique renderings of landscapes on the edge of disappearance, vulnerable to disintegration, caught, through the drawing process, between their unmaking and making – a contemporary experience of landscape.
In 2015 I was invited by Marco Carli and Xing Zhang to show selected drawings from this research in an exhibition showcasing estimable examples of contemporary drawing – the first show devoted to contemporary drawing from Britain to be shown in China. While traditional European drawing has been a foundation for Chinese academic study, this show introduced the Chinese public to recent developments in Western drawing. It featured David Hockney and Lucien Freud, artists already known and influential in China, but also others, such as Rose Wylie.
Two conference papers, a book chapter and a group show in Tilburg have followed on from this.