One-Day Symposium – Friday 13th April 2018

Call for papers:                  

The Embodied Experience of Drawing


Marie Taylor (Artist)

Beth Heaney (Artist)

Supported by:                       

Plymouth College of Art

Ocean Studios

Real Ideas Organisation

Keynote Speaker:

Dr Janette Kerr PPRWA, RSA Hon

(Artist and Visiting Research Fellow in Fine Art, UWE)


Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Devon UK


Abstracts are invited for a one-day symposium considering the embodied experience of drawing.  This event responds to the increasing proportion of artists in the South West working in performative drawing practices, gathering a delegation at a vital time to acknowledge and interrogate this movement and discuss ideas around the future of drawing practice.


With reference to the ‘Ocean City’ location, the original idea for the symposium was inspired by Emma Cocker’s analogy of drawing as the event of sailing:


 Learning to sail is a process of facilitation or mediation that attempts to make good the turbulence created by     the pull of the water and the push of the wind. Between being effortful and effortless…divergent rhythms merge in symphonic flow, becoming one. Somewhere between control and lettinq go, somewhere between affecting and being affected – the event of sailing, of drawing and of being. (Cocker, 2012)


With the question of whether contemporary drawing in its current formation finds itself challenged and interrogated by a performative turn, we invite papers that debate how we understand relationships between the body and drawing, investigating issues around exhibiting performative works, audience and boundaries.  The following themes are suggested as provocations articulating Cocker’s notion of drawing’s ‘attempts to contemplate the terms of its own coming in to being, performed as the infinitely reflexive loops of drawing drawing itself drawing’ (Cocker, 2012):


Drawing as embodied experience: What do we mean by embodied? If we take it to mean simply the union of body and mind, what are the possibilities/limits when this is challenged? Does drawing have the capacity to give us a sense of existence?

Drawing as a voice: If we consider that body and language have the ‘voice’ in common, and similarly suggest that drawing relates to the body and language, how does the use/philosophical theories of the voice relate to the gestural act of performative drawing? Exploring the paradoxical relation between the voice and the body, how might we experience unconscious emotions through voice and drawing – the visible or invisible?

 Drawing as performance: Where does it live:  as a trace in the mind, an archived documentation or both?

Drawing as knowledge: Is it tacit knowledge, or a newly encountered embodied experience?   Is it a proxy to thinking, can drawing itself think?

Drawing’s place, space and temporality: Considering drawing’s state of flux and ambiguity, what, where or when is drawing’s place?  How are spatial temporal conditions contingent to the embodied experience?


We invite abstracts of 300 words to explore these ideas further, open to artists and researchers, post graduate and undergraduate students, in the field of drawing and fine art related disciplines. Proposals may take the form of:

–                 Papers of 20-minute duration

–                 Workshops

–                 Poster presentations

–                 Performance

–                 Temporary exhibition

Proposals and enquiries should be emailed to: Please indicate any technical requirements.

Deadline:   Monday 19th February 2018, 12.30pm

It is anticipated that papers and proceedings will be published by the sub:text imprint, Plymouth College of Art.


Cocker, E. (2012). The Restless Line, Drawing.  In, Sawdon, P. and Marshall, R. (2012). Hyperdrawing. London: I.B.Tauris, pp: xii-xvii


Q-ART COLLABORATION: October 2015 – June 2017

inside-edge-white-on-black       crit-club   q-art    pca-logo

Collaboration outputs:

  • Set up our own Q-Art inspired Crit Club
  • Facilitated ‘Introduction to the Crit’ workshops for young people at Tate Modern as part of our work with The Sorrell Foundation’s National Art and Design Saturday Club
  • Fundraised for and subsequently interviewed graduates in Plymouth, Glasgow, London and Berlin about the challenges and opportunities of setting up art spaces across the UK – extracts from which appeared in Q-Art’s book ‘Professional Practice: 20 Questions’ and on a flyer they produced for fellow graduates as part of their degree show this June.
  • Presented our findings from the interviews and experience of the collaboration at Q-Art’s Transitions Out of Art School Symposium at The Glasgow School of Art in June 2016
  • Set up our own organisation ‘Inside Edge’ to support creative graduates as they prepare for life after art school

“Working with Q-Art has been truly inspiring. As undergraduate students, the opportunity to connect with industry was fundamental in the Professional Practice element of our Painting, Drawing & Printmaking degree. With the mentoring and support from Q-Art in both collaborative projects and in our independent initiatives, we were able to experience the realities of working in the creative sector – so much so that, as we graduate this year, we have been motivated to start our own business, Inside Edge. We are looking forward to future collaborations with Q-Art.”

Marie Taylor & Amelia Webster – Inside Edge

Working with Q-Art on a research project, we undertook interviews in Glasgow from a ‘student/graduate’s perspective’, a preview of which featured in the Q-Art publication ‘Professional Practice: 20 Questions’.  Continuing this research with Q-art, we have interviewed spaces nationally and internationally, which can be seen in the flyer publication ‘A Graduates Perspective: How to set up an Artists’ Space’, the first instalment of an ongoing co-research project.

The flyer publication is available in both hard copy and pdf.  Pdf available here: