The Arts Humanities in Higher Education ‘new voice’ paper ‘ Can grey ravens fly: Beyond Frayling’s categories’ has finally been published to paper in latest copy of journal.
It appears in a special issue devoted to ‘Theorising Practice in Creative and Applied Arts’. It is alongside a range of papers presented at the ‘Practice Makes Perfect Conference’ at Swansea Metropolitan University in September 2012. I would like to thank Howard Riley and Amanda Roberts for their kindness there and for giving me this opportunity.
It is my first main journal publication after a couple of conference papers in proceedings.
The pdf is available through download from SAGE website if subscribed through institution and I can share with colleagues in private so please request. I cannot post separately on internet for copyright reasons.
If interested in abstracts and other my research please go to
ACADEMIA EDU : https://nottinghamtrent.academia.edu/ShaunBelcher#
Surprise of the week was news that Moogee had his own chapter in a new Loughborough/UAL/Teachers Columbia publication 🙂
This is the final entry in the studio diary section as I will be assessed on my M.A. this Wednesday afternoon. To prepare for this I have created the pdf below and uploaded to Scribd detailing the progress made throughout the M.A. and the final outcomes at this point.
Where I go from here is a good question and not one I can answer easily.
There are three separate yet overlapping areas I have become deeply interested in.
1. Drawing research ; phenomenology of drawing and in particular an interest in sense of place and notions of ‘signature’ in terms of preparatory drawings especially in Gorky, Miro up to Motherwell and Twombly all developing out of the surrealism and dada influence on mid-century American painting.
2. Early film/photography and magazine culture of the 18th Century/early 19th century and its relation to current developments in web. I have a paper to present in Paris on Charles Dickens magazine illustration end of March and I will be concentrating on that alone from now until then.
3. The continuation of this research into artistic research theory/philosophy of aesthetics and its dissemination through fine art pedagogy.
All three are possible PhD subject matter and how my institution views my future will probably have a major bearing on where I go.
My heart though probably in number one…..my head in number three and my teaching future at present tied up somewhere in number two whether I like it or not…….
Interesting times ahead 🙂
Meanwhile I’d like to thank Deborah Harty for her very good supervision and for stopping me going off-track all the time or as they like to say in academia develop ‘focus’. Focused I am right now but come Thursday who knows:-)
please note the backgrounds have distorted in this display.
James Elkins illustrations..half way through when this photo taken in studio…completed today there 12 in all which will illustrate the 2nd Edition of his book ‘Artists with PhDs’ which has been revised and made larger.I had the pleasure of illustrating my ex-Dean and others. No detailed pictures as want to be surprise in book when it published. Thanks to Jim for allowing me to do this.
This series completes the third drawn sequence that I will be submitting for my M.A. assessment next Wednesday 22nd January. At the age of 55 I will finally get a Fine Art M.A. to add to the B.A. which I received a very long time ago….1981 in fact which 32 years ago! Unbelievable.
Further info. HERE: James Elkins Website
I was in conversation with Andrei Molotiu the author of the book Abstract Comics (http://abstractcomics.blogspot.co.uk ) and he basically challenged me to go beyond the film derived sequential drawings of earlier in the year and attempt a full abstract comic approach which I duly did yesterday. The result below.
This is based on two symbols that were constant companions in my first period of intensive abstract drawing from 1981-1989. The two objects are based on a barn door and a sheave of barley both distant childhood memory derivations. At this time I was working off an abstract expressionist base where Arshile Gorky and Miro were very important in terms of memory symbols. Here I have used the two objects to tell an abstract sequential story which has abstract speech bubbles. I jokingly called it my autobiography hence the grave symbol at end. The story is subconscious there no direct narrative. I drew the structure of the comic based on memories of similar page structures in comics.
The interesting thing is that it seems to relate directly back to a ‘graphic novel’ I attempted in 1992 (below the front cover). I will try and get rest of sequence scanned which although cartoon based is more conventional cartoon figuration rather than abstract and contains quite a lot of text. For this I thank Simon Lewty ( http://www.artfirst.co.uk/simon_lewty ) who has been a constant source of inspiration in his blend of the narrative, abstract and annotated.
Andrew has asked me for a better quality photo of the work for his blog (see above) so I will update the picture above with a high quality image tomorrow.
I also just realised that it structurally hints at the kind of emblematic work Alasdair Gray parodied in his ‘Leviathan’ drawing for the front cover of his book Lanark. My memory was obviously remembering the front cover of Richard Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’.
I have now finished drawing the 16 ‘plates’ imitating Hockney’s Rake’s Progress but using it as a template for mapping concerns over the place of ‘new knowledge’ in art research.
It already becoming a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of a task. Firstly there is the original Hogarth moral tale, then there is Hockney’s New York adventure ( which has overtones of Whitman and Dreiser apparently – his reading at the time). Then there is the Duchamp tale of the urinal (again New York based) and the Kubrick overtones of the ‘Muttley’ spaceman as art object character and finally the whole point of the exercise ‘ investigating’ new knowledge whatever that is…
Here I finally sinking into the real question….via Polanyi’s ‘Tacit Knowledge’ and Eisner’s ‘Art and Knowledge’. Phew…the latest drawing in sequence divides the philosophical roots and branches (literally) as best I can ( open to debate of course). I have tried to show the ‘new knowledge’ foliage in the tree as the most recent and most referenced at the ‘Practice makes Perfect’ conference. So this just a rough mapping of current fashions and directions at best.
Drawing it out like this (literally) is really helping me focus on what actually seems to be going on. The Slager attempt to bridge the cartesian/ embodied knowledge divide and the way Frayling’s categories and their impact is actually quite separate to the philosophical underpinning which far wider ranging. The previous paper analysed Frayling’s influence on art and design research in general rather than just fine art. The philosophical debate around embodied/tacit and where new knowledge may be located ( or not) is very much a fine art concern and seems to me at heart of the instability of the art school with regard to research within the ‘academie’.
Well tomorrow 1st October so 22 days to go until DRN New York and finally embarked on the Art Object in search of new knowledge sequence!
I carefully re-read proposal (read it here http://www.scribd.com/doc/159584262/Drn-Proposal-2013 ) and fortunately I was quite careful about what I had promised. This means that I can just about fulfill promise to create a cartoon sequence but the full paper will have to be completed later (hopefully by M.A. completion date of January 24th). As for the animation I was really setting a high bar there and I think it may well develop separately to the DRN conference.
I have completed the sequence of 16 illustrations of contributors chapters to Elkins book and hope to complete the Elkins chapters after New York from the animation tests. To be honest I only likely to show a few sequences if that at end of presentation.
The project has however come together in my mind. the original ‘Rakes Progress’ by Hockney is a sequence of 16 images about his first trip to New York which dovetails with my first visit too. There however the comparison stops as my sequence whilst using the visual parody of Hockney’s suite of etchings will focus on current art research terminology specifically the idea of ‘New Knowledge’. Here I crossover with Elkins chapter on ‘Beyond research and new knowledge’ in Artist with Phds. To that extent this very much a continuation of investigation begun in previous conference with Frayling paper.
The drawings will mimic the number of Hockney etchings (16 in all) and end up in an art research ‘Bedlam’ 🙂
Here a photo from the studio whilst working on first drawing.
Only 15 to go! Also instead of drawing sequence after writing paper this time I experimenting with drawing first and literally ‘drawing out’ ideas for paper one for practical reasons and two as an experiment which may go dreadfully wrong. It interesting to see how drawing first affects decisions on what to include and structure of final paper. I will give an overview of ideas in presentation as at 20 minutes that roughly one image a minute.
To see original Hockney sequence see here http://www.hockneypictures.com/graphics_rakes_progress/graphics_rakes_01.php
Have revised the outcomes of the animation/cartoon Odyssey slightly to avoid going mad.
The illustrations for the contributor chapters to Elkins 2nd edition of Artists with PhDs is almost complete. Waiting on final chapters. here one of the illustrations tipped in to previous edition to give a flavour. You have to look really hard to work out which chapter this illustrating!
We have revised the editor’s chapters illustrations to be sourced from the final animation for New York DRN which Andrew Love and myself working on at moment. Here Andrew’s test piece using elements from my original visual interpretation of Elkins Chapter 9. On beyond research and new knowledge.
As one of the planets R.Mutt the urinal spaceman visits in paper/animation is planet Elkins this all starts to make sense. Also it do-able in time frame.
It is my intention to have a 20 minute fully voice-overed with music animation completed with accompanying paper (which will be published in DRN conference 2013 Proceedings early next year) by my M.A. completion date on January 24th 2014.
Here test animation using elements form original illustration:
Elkins Chapter 9. On beyond research and new knowledge – original illustration from 2011.
More of Andrew’s brilliant work at http://recursiveworlds.com/
A very busy week last week didn’t make it into actual studio but I can officially announce that James Elkins has asked me to illustrate all the chapters for his second edition of ‘Artists with PhDs’. I have drawn two test images and feedback from Jim was he’d like more detailed and weird which fits with my love of Alisdair Gray‘s artwork for Lanark and Tony Fitzpatrick’s work. I also been compared to Adelheid Mers work which I had never seen until today and which fascinating in terms of vizualizing research. There seems to be a very strong Chicago School of Art connection here. Which figures as I first made contact with Mark Staff Brandl through the Chicago art-blog Sharkforum which sadly now offline although Mark’s Swiss Sharkforum still active). This came about through my Americana Reviewing and love of music. It all somehow connects 🙂
Here the first two test images for chapters from the book – not telling which ones 🙂
A very hot day and studio a little cooler than expected which good. Still managed to create three drawings despite also reading photo related items specifically about early photography ( Lady Elizabeth Eastlake’s Review from London Quarterly Review).
Had a fascinating message from an architect doing a PhD at the University of Tasmania who picked up on the recent drawings. He said they reminded him of the German ‘Burolandschaft’ workplace drawings of the Quickborner Team of 1960’s.
I did some hasty research (Googled it) and came up with drawings he referring to which were fascinating (see below). The connection is not entirely strange as I have been regarding these drawings a s cumulative ‘memory’ maps of my hometown/landscape. I am coming at it from a fine art viewpoint which more influenced by artists like Simon Lewty (http://www.artfirst.co.uk/simon_lewty/) and Aboriginal Bark Painting (signifiers of place) as much as maps and graphic diagrams. The idea of linking this further to architectural diagrams/theory fascinating. I shall be delving deeper. Especially as the drawings above show Caruso St John plans for the new Arts Council offices…ironically 🙂
For one of the drawings I sectioned the page into ‘staves’ or ‘cartoon strips’ to try out some sequential abstract narrative notions I have. This could lead to some large painted/drawn canvases for final show.
Strange couple of days painting…anything but canvas though. Front of house, bathroom , shed you name it if it didn’t move I painted it with white gloss. After that i finally sat down in home studio to do some ‘graphic’ work. The resulting three drawings above. First one I consciously trying to stay small in mark-making. Middle one I did ‘blind’ to see if it loosened things up and finally a very fast drawing to try and preclude conscious acts. Finally I drew the ‘country alphabet’ above which comes from a slightly different angle and refers way back to a ‘alphabet’ of symbols I built up in late eighties. I will scan some examples from sketchbook next time I in ‘proper’ studio to compare with image above which actually more aligned with Mariscal than abstract expressionism or Paul Klee.