Drawing: 'A protest against forgetting'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Hicks completed a book chapter for the publication 'Body, Space, Place in Collective and Collaborative Drawing: Drawing Conversations 2', following her participation in the form of a paper, in the second international Drawing Conversations Symposium, Coventry University in December 2017, which drew a strong and global response.
The book’s aim was to consider the interrelationship between body, space and place and the drawing process, exploring the idea of the body as conduit between interior and exterior in the act of making. The book’s intention was to extend research into the area of collective and collaborative drawing upon which there is little serious research to date. Her chapter explored the role the physical embodied experience of the landscape played in the forming of memory, the making of marks, and the establishing of meaning, forming a triangulated conversation between two contrasting drawing processes and the landscape itself.

This chapter explores how two widely differing experiences of Icelandic landscapes have influenced Hicks’s methods of investigation through drawing in two drawing projects. There is an examination of how the marks or gestures adopted in each project are suggestive of these differing encounters. There is also an exploration of the relationship in these projects between drawing and memory.
The ‘Sandur’ project is considered first. There is discussion of how the drawings echo something of the natural processes involved in the forming of the land through the build up and erosion of deposits; and how this was achieved with the most basic of tools, pencils and a rubber, building up thick, dense areas of graphite and then erasing or partially erasing sections to reveal the paper beneath, leaving behind marks and traces.
The ‘Northern Lights’ drawings are developed from webcam images retrieved from a road traffic website in Iceland. A consideration of the drawing process in this project examines how, using simple materials, graphite and coloured pencils, the image is drawn in, then overworked using a ruler, the mechanical like process echoing a printer.
Moving on to the discussion of memory and place, there is emphasis on how the ‘Sandur’ project draws upon the memory of an actual experience of place, memory reinforced by acts of physical engagement through walking and painting.
The more nuanced relationship of the works to place and memory in the ‘Northern Lights’ is also examined. Here the experience of landscape is mediated through the webcam and the computer – the three dimensional landscape filtered through the flat screen of a monitor. There is an exploration of how, in taking the webcam images and transforming them into drawings, the works begin to resist ‘photography’s ability to fix an image in time.’ [Sontag].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBody, Space, and Place in Collective and Collaborative Drawing
Subtitle of host publicationDrawing Conversations II
EditorsJill Journeaux, Helen Gerrill, Sara Reed
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781527541962
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


Cite this

Hicks, L. (2020). Drawing: 'A protest against forgetting'. In J. Journeaux, H. Gerrill, & S. Reed (Eds.), Body, Space, and Place in Collective and Collaborative Drawing : Drawing Conversations II (pp. 122-137). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.