Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Berger on Drawing

You should all have read (or watched - it was a TV series) or at least heard of and about to read John Berger's 'Ways of Seeing' - I will write a post about this later. However, more relevant to the 1st Years 'Drawing Object' project is his less well know book 'On Drawing'. Below are a few excerpts that really rang true with the way that I think about drawing.

- “For the artist drawing is discovery. And that is not just a slick phrase, it is quite literally true. It is the actual act of drawing that forces the artist to look at the object in front of him, to dissect it in his mind’s eye and put it together again; or, if he is drawing from memory, that forces him to dredge his own mind, to discover the content of his own store of past observations.” (page 3)

- “A drawing is an autobiographical record of one’s discovery of an event – seen, remembered or imagined.” (page 3)

- “It is a platitude in the teaching of drawing that the heart of the matter lies in the specific process of looking. A line, an area of tone, is not really important because it records what you have seen, but because of what it will lead you on to see. Following up its logic in order to check its accuracy, you find confirmation or denial in the object itself or in your memory of it.

John Berger [2005]: Berger on Drawing. Edited by Jim Savage. Aghabullogue, Co. Cork, Eire: Occasional Press. Second Edition, 2007.

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