This week’s subject based field focus was on narrative and metaphor in drawing.
We drew inspiration from last week’s exercise of drawing our individual pathways through the university and the way these lines crossed and intersected when laid on top of one another. This, we thought, was symbolic of the way our lives are woven together like individual threads in a messy ball of yarn. The pathways through the building could be metaphors for our journeys through life, full of twists, turns and unexpected encounters. We considered how all of us group members were like converging lines at this point in time, although for some of us, our lines had crossed previously, sometimes with us being aware and sometimes without.
Originally we wanted to use tracing paper to layer line journeys in different colours but decided the effect would work just as well by drawing them all together on a large sheet of paper using different colour sharpies. It was a really fun activity to do because we found ourselves trying to devise storylines for the characters whose ‘life lines’ we drew. A black line for a reclusive character who’s only interaction is with the shopkeeper on the corner street who he meets on the rare occasions he leaves the house. A complicated tangle of lines for a couple having an affair. The parallel lines of two siblings growing up together then gradually going their separate ways. The undulating lines suggest the ups and downs of life. The physical activity of drawing on such a large sheet of paper required us to climb over it and lean in awkward positions a bit like when playing Twister – the game itself a kind of metaphor for entanglement and the crossing of lives.
In last weeks subject based field we wanted to explore the different ways members of our group would document a journey through the university building.
We each took a large sheet of paper and a marker pen then went on individual unpremeditated journeys through the building, documenting our experience with a continuous line. It’s fascinating to see the differences in how we’ve recorded going down the stairs – Jasper shows them in bold zig zags as if he was bouncing down them at speed, Lucy’s are almost like sound waves and mine are more like traditional drawings of stairs, documenting each one individually.
The sun shape on mine is where I crossed lines with Lucy while concentric circles show the seconds I counted waiting for the lift to arrive. This idea stemmed from Phoebe’s suggestion to use concentric lines to document time passing in the pre-reflexive drawing exercise. I also attempted to document sounds as I sat outside the ceramics workshop, listening to passing footsteps and voices.
Originally we wanted to draw these lines on tracing paper and lay them on top of one another but since we couldn’t find any we decided to improvise and copy the journeys onto one sheet. To make it more interesting we decided we would each copy the other’s line as accurately as possible which gave us an insight into how the other drew the journey. The result is a kind of map of the building but one which shows what it feels like to move through the space. It would be fun to get others to try to use these maps as a guide and see if they can be followed. Our task achieved the aim of recording journeys in an abstract way, using a series of symbols which could be further explained with some kind of key.