Mediators and the vitality of matter in drawing practices | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2057-0384
  • E-ISSN: 2057-0392


Materials are a vital collaborator in building human and non-human worlds and yet are often cast as simply assistants or props in art practice. This project report looks at an experimental drawing exercise, which gives non-traditional drawing materials a crucial position in the drawing and mark-making discipline. This exercise is part of a larger methodology that seeks to give materiality a more central role in wider arts practice in order to bring individual material or object into a closer working relationship with the artist. Through such practices we can learn more about our material collaborates, from how matter reveals itself when used as a mark marker to how tacit and sensorial knowledge can be developed between material and artist. The drawing exercise, which is explored in this report, utilizes alternatives to the traditional tools of drawing practices (e.g. pens, pencils or brushes) to explore how material can be used as both illustrator and illustrated to develop a deeper relational knowledge of the materials which surround us. In recent theoretical, political and technological fields, through movements such as New Materialism, the role of materials in research is being re-examined and this report applies this call for a more collaborative relationship with the material world specifically to art and design pedagogies. This approach has the potential to transform our knowledge of specific materials through personal sensorial experience and an acknowledgement of material’s own vitality, and I have already witnessed something of the realization of this in my own practice.


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