Posted in Drawing, woodwork by robbiekarmel on November 22, 2016

Since my confirmation a few weeks ago I have been playing around in the studio and workshop. The work has continued to focus on the phenomenological material intersections between myself, the workshop-studio, tools and materials, and the expanded environment.

These two drawings are full body scale mappings of my body and the studio-setup of drawings surfaces and studio-furniture. They serve as records of the interactions between the contributing elements as they facilitate and interrupt my actions of intentionally mapping out the perceptual experience of sitting, drawing, and being.






By drawing upside down I am playing with interrupting the conventional ergonomics of drawing, an element that is so familiar to drawing that it recedes into the background and is rarely considered as an active element of process. In these drawings I hope to bring environmental factors like gravity, the body interrupting itself, and the relative position of the drawing surface back to the foreground, so that they become active elements that contribute to the activity of drawing. As I engage with and become familiar with these processes and assess the influence they have on the emergent drawings I begin to accomodate or acclimatise to their influence. This circular and recursive quality makes it difficult to assess such elements in their fresh uninterrupted and unassisted  state— as the process of their discovery reveals the properties that may prove interesting to assess as accessed through limited perceptual experience— any artificial limitations of perception (such as blindfolds) are immediately negated as soon as the manifest drawing is assessed.  Furthermore, the familiarity with how intentional actions create image-lines will forever influence how intentional lines are made in the future.

An example:  I have attempted to draw my head as projected onto a surface behind me before, I know that if I move the drawing stick ‘like-so’ recognisable marks will be laid down. I no longer need to assess and  re-assess the marks as compared to the source sensation to confirm their representational accuracy or capacity, as my familiarity with depicting noses and nostrils etc gives me the confidence to lay down the marks without second guessing their accuracy. It is worth noting here that I spend a lot of time drawing my nose, nostrils, and inner nose-throat-sinus-cavity as I experience them from sensations of proprioception, locatable internal itchiness, tongue probing and so on. I find that there is such a concentration of sensation in my head, sinus, hands, feet, and genitals that I amplify the representational gestures that record the experience of embodied being, the record becomes a homunculus of perceptual experience.

These drawing below are a smaller scale, each drawing is on an A2 sheet of paper. I have been experimenting with proprioceptive drawing from external viewpoints, imagined or simulated body positions, and projecting myself into positional relationships with objects. The first two drawings are done while sitting at my desk with the drawing pad in my lap, a position I spend a lot of time in, I find that if I don’t make a conscious effort to select an external viewpoint I project my body onto the paper through a trajectory in line with my head, however there seems to be no ‘front’ or ‘back’ to the manifest representation, in being flattened it takes a form that can be read as concave or convex.





These drawings where done before the stool was complete, I had climbed on the frame but not mounted it or perched on it.

As I was drawing these I was looking at the incomplete stool with the seat slab balanced on the frame. I imagined/projected myself into the position as influenced by my attempts to climb the frame before the seat was attached.



This drawing is a sketch of a planned piece of studio furniture, a small box on legs. I intend to to use the box in a similar manner to the other pieces of studio furniture, allowing the difficulty of balancing on the tiny object to impact the process of drawing.





I have also just finished this piece of studio furniture, an impractically high surface to sit on. I will be starting a drawing using this stool soon, the height will again disrupt the comfortable ergonomics of drawing.












These are my first attempts at carving alaia surfboards, I am not a strong surfer and haven’t done it for a few years, but I was recently introduced to the work of Tom Wegener ( and got really excited about shaping a simple surfboard from a piece of wood. I’ll have a chance to try them out in a few weeks, we’ll see how it goes!

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