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Annalise Rees : PhD examination exhibition


PhD Examination Exhibition

Start Date

Mar 18, 2017 12:30 pm

End Date

Mar 30, 2017 5:30 pm


Plimsoll Gallery

RSVP / Contact

Jane Barlow; 62264300

Annalise Rees - PhD examination exhibition

Navigating the unknown: Place, space and drawing.


Focussing on manual drawing as an important field of experiential practice increasingly overlooked in our digitally mediated world, this research interrogates how the unknown may be made physically and cognitively manifest through the explorative practice of drawing and its use as an embodied means of encountering place and space. Referencing and simultaneously extending colonial and historical notions, and linking to historical exploration narratives, navigational practice and cartography, the unknown is considered as an active space between the world and its representation - a spatially situated and yet mobile zone of inquiry requiring interpretation whereby self/world relations are perceived, negotiated and understood.

Investigated via drawn encounters, experienced over several journeys on a professional cray boat and a two-month voyage on a scientific research vessel, the fluid materiality of the sea as a transformative space of potentiality is considered as a rich metaphorical and physical unknown. With a focus on searching and the testing of ideas, journalling is proposed as a key strategy for activating the speculative and provisional understandings that underpin the project. The journal, presented in digital and analogue format is posited as thinking in progress — a wayfinding tool for navigating the creative process.

The thesis proposes that drawing is a crucial tacit and experientially explorative method for engaging with and participating in a necessarily uncertain world. Discussed through the writing of Simon Ryan, Tania Kovats and Ross Gibson, the research asserts that drawing is an equally conceptual and materially situated explorative practice suitable for synthesising fluctuating frames of reference, ambiguity and the uncertainty of experience. Exploring the nature of self/world relations the research contends that manual drawing practices produce critical ‘positive frictions’ described as generative provocations caused by the misalignment of the real and the perceived. Through the speculative process of negotiating these contradictions characteristics such as curiosity, scepticism, fallibility and error become an important part of the process and key components of practice-led research. Referring to New Materialist concepts such as intra-action, diffraction and entanglement as discussed by theorists such as Brian Massumi and Karen Barad, the research proposes that ‘positive frictions’ are not only vital and generative components of inquiry, but also provide a critical and meaningful way to engage with other human beings and the world.

Expanding on the work of artists such as William Kentridge and Tacita Dean, the research contributes to discussions of drawing as an iterative, haptic orientation process of actively handling the world — relating to phenomenological concepts as proposed by Heidegger. Connecting drawing practice to the unknown through a narrative of self-articulation, drawing and the unknown are posed as conditional to lived existence and essential to how experience is practised, negotiated and communicated. Through the combined use of paper-based and photographic drawing tools, the research contends that drawing in the twenty-first century not only remains an exemplary method to encounter the unknown, but that it also makes such encounters possible — a practice by which connections between self and world are made. The research asserts that manual drawing facilitates these connections via the intra-action of ‘positive frictions’ identified as essential for creative practice, and indeed requisite for any research-based endeavour.

Exhibition opening: Fri 24 March, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Exhibition dates: Sat 18 - Thurs 30 March

Gallery Hours: Wed - Mon 12pm - 5pm during exhibitions

Closed Tuesdays and Public holidays

Annalise Rees, Pitch, Roll, Yaw, 2017 (video still)

Image credit: Annalise Rees, Pitch, Roll, Yaw, 2017 (video still) Single channel video with audio, graphite on paper, 38.5 x 76cm, 26:39