This inspirational one day symposium was organised by Marie Taylor and Beth Heaney at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard in Plymouth on 13 April 2018. Papers, posters, workshops and live performances explored relationships between the body and drawing, investigating issues around exhibiting performative works, audience and boundaries.
Janette Kerr, action painter of powerful seascapes and the epitome of embodied drawing, was the key note speaker. She talked about how our attitudes to drawing have changed over the centuries, and how almost anything and everything can now be defined as drawing. She suggested that sketching fast fixes a sense of place and space in your head. Describing her experience of drawing on a boat in a heaving sea, drawing wildly and intuitively, moving beyond representation to ‘active engagement’, she spoke of it being a private performance: ‘Me, the sea and the weather’.
Stephen Felmingham in his closing remarks said that ‘it was about bringing together architecture, theatre, voice, choreography, dance, movement, gesture and many other things, many acts, into a kind of theatre of drawing’.
We all felt deeply involved in our practice by the end of the day and it has made me more interested in creating my own performative art.