robbiekarmel

Heads, Bodies, and Furniture – Progress

Posted in Uncategorized by robbiekarmel on April 27, 2016

These are some drawings and process shots from my ongoing drawing experiments. I’m beginning to expand the drawings to include a larger network of objects and perceptual information. In the first two images the drawing is a tactile and proprioceptive drawing of myself and the bust. Soon I will be developing the sculptural work further, beginning with blind proprioceptive and tactile representations of my own body, similar to the two vague forms to the left and right of the central bust in this drawing, and to the blind proprioceptive drawing below.

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^ This third drawing is done entirely through proprioception, mapping out the body through my awareness of position in space, I do not need to fondle my face or the chair to know where they are or how to draw them. There are two interwoven factors here, one is my awareness and memory of the shape and position of the objects at hand—although i am only touching the chair in a few places (the seat, footrests). The second is my practiced skill at representing these objects with more familiar methods, having drawn countless bodies and chairs.


I am still working on the sculpted wooden bust. I have been going back and forth between drawing on the bust while blindfolded, again relying on my familiarity and awareness of my head and face. I then use these marks as a guide as to what material to remove, which is problematic in that I am influenced by my desire to make the bust mimetically accurate, rather than faithfully follow the marks. Ultimately the work being done ends up as a compromise between these two elements.

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I have a few reservations about this work, the process is clunky, labour intensive, and time consuming, and the pine is quite soft and bruises easily. Working with harder timber, and starting with a blank closer to the final proportions of the body may help, but will also require a dramatic overhaul of process, and will require a fair bit of machining and powertooling to achieve.

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Finally, I have been considering the role of workshop and studio furniture in my practice. As the drawing and sculptural aspects of the work develop they are beginning to expand to include consideration and depiction of the props and apparatus involved in the process: the ground, benches, plinths, chairs, drawing boards etc. For example, in the blind proprioceptive drawing of myself sitting in the chair (above) a lot of my understanding of the form of the chair comes from designing the chair I have been working on (shown here). As such I have been designing and constructing my own studio and workshop furniture. Initially these are following fairly familiar forms, but as the project progresses I plan on introducing new structures to facilitate different arrangements and relationships between myself, subjects, drawing surfaces, working sculptures, and collaborators.

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