What is Drawing?

In the very broadest sense, the possibilities are limitless. Judge for the Parkin Drawing Prize in 2013, Heather Galbraith, has commented that any award or exhibition for drawing should be positioned within an "expanded field of drawing, and be open to a spectrum of approaches, media, scale, purpose and content. Drawing can be an action, an image, a record of things seen or felt, a trace of a thought process. No matter how it is made, drawing has an exhilarating immediacy and potency. It is one of our most ancient tools of communication, yet is still incredibly relevant."

Selection panellist Roger Boyce similarly acknowledges that even when seeking to be concise about its meaning, definitions of drawing are complex: "think of drawing … as a graphic record of time, energy and materials. Drawings can be a sculptor’s plans/speculations – as with Christo or Oldenberg. Or an evocation - through material similarity/ resonance – souvenirs of a sculptor’s primary practice (as is the case of many of Serra’s works on paper). Or as conceptual as Lawrence Weiner or Sol LeWitt’s desiccated drawing instructions. There are also performative/bodily evidentiary works on paper like Tom Marioni’s circle’s, Yves Klein’s body prints, or Janine Antoni’s Loving Care. While it’s difficult to finally arrive at a definition that accommodates all…I think any drawing can be umbrella–ed under ‘a record of time, energy and materials’."

"Drawing is a fundamental act – thinking and making, seeing and imagining. "

(Gregory O’Brien)
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