Exhibitions / Daily Practice

06.07.2016 to 06.08.2016

“In this breathless pause at the threshold of a long passage we seemed to be measuring our fitness for a long and arduous enterprise, the appointed task of both our existences to be carried out, far from all human eyes, with only sky and sea for spectators and for judges.”[1]



This work has come about after taking several trips to sea on board a professional cray boat as part of my PhD studies at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania. My research project is investigating the use of drawing as a primary means of encountering and articulating place and space, in particular, maritime environments. Observational drawing is an important component of my practice, which regularly involves working directly in the field. From this first-hand, embodied experience I gather by drawing. This recording of what I am seeing, experiencing and thinking is played out in my journals. My journaling and process of collecting are the central focus of my project. I am most interested in the ‘doing’ aspect of the search and the provisional nature of the journal as a thinking and recording device.   


With my journal in hand I embarked on several adventures into the unknown where drawing was a key means by which I negotiated and began to articulate my journey. This was not only a physical journey into the unknown maritime environment, but also a personal journey into the ways in which we deal with the uncertainty and instability of being. My observations of the skipper and deckhands at work offered a parallel way of thinking about how I come to know myself and my place in the world through drawing as an embodied practice. Their daily activities of cray fishing utilize first hand ‘body knowledge’ gained through years spent at sea, negotiating the ever changing maritime environment. This working knowledge is combined with the use of drawing based technologies such as 3D mapping software, a GPS plotter and an echo sounder to assist with “shooting” pots for gathering their prized catch.


These trips to sea, into unfamiliar and unknown environments have provided an ideal physical and conceptual context in which to explore the use of drawing based methodologies used to orientate and situate ourselves in the world. The world is constantly in flux and subject to change. Examining how we steady ourselves within this fluctuating context may perhaps provide opportunity to re-think the frameworks and structures by which we understand our world, many of which are drawn. The unknown can provide new ways of understanding and seeing our world and our place within it, allowing for a breadth of experience and connection.

[1] Conrad, J 1995, The secret sharer: an episode from the coast, Penguin, London. p. 2