The exceptionally well-attended Drawing International Symposium has been and gone, and it certainly was a success. I had my diary comics showing in the exhibition (suitably titled) Roughing Out and gave an Artist Presentation, seeing as much as possible over the two days in this jam packed arrangement. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the opening due to the residual effects of Man-Flu, and I heard it was definitely a highlight, with a keynote address by drawing Yoda Deanna Petherbridge and a performance drawing event at The Spring Hill Reservoir. But, you know. Man-Flu. A shame I missed it, to all reports it was a wonderful experience and the keynote speaker was impassioned.
The Drawing International Brisbane Symposium was hosted by my home university, was a seminal, inspired undertaking, and was obviously a hell of an effort to put together. The promotion and organisation of something like this is staggering, and massive kudos to Bill Platz and Kellie O’Dempsey for putting it together. Really impressive stuff.
Arriving early on Thursday I got my name tag which I chose not to use, not to be cool, but because I wore a much loved t-shirt and didn’t want to put a hole in it. Take that, expectation- pow! Melbourne based curator Hannah Matthews gave an hour-long meander through an extensive back catalogue of her curated exhibitions.
After doing my best to avoid conversation at morning tea (being an awkward introvert has its drawbacks) I got in early for the next presentations. The first was, of course read directly from the conference paper, detailing the one theme and subject she had explored for the last twenty or so years, of her father. Beautiful drawings, and a touching tribute to a man obviously much-loved.
Kirsten Perry gave an interesting presentation about her experiments using goggles that map eye-movement, looking over her reflected images and building a series of drawings using software that she had purpose-built just for this use. Interesting results and an obvious amount of work in preparation, with projections about where this could be taken in the future giving all food for thought. Will goggles take over from pens? Will the eyeball supersede the hand? Probably not… At least, not for a while.
In the following session I caught Bill Platz‘s presentation. Bill, while constrained by his 20 minute limitation, spoke on a broad range of points relating to life drawing, the viewer and the views, thee act of yawning, zombies, a case study from the 1980s of an over enthusiastic drawing teacher who caused no small amount of alarm in his activities, and seminal concept of “the sexish”. Really engaging stuff. I can see why Bill keeps winning teaching awards, and I try to get in to see him whenever he speaks publicly.
There were quite a few other things that happened over the following days and interesting people I met and had the pleasure to listen to, and that one time I unwittingly bit into banana cake and had to keep chewing despite my severe banana intolerance, but I won’t bore you, adoring fans. ‘Nuff said that it was an eye opening and attitude shifting event. Thanks to the organisers and all who presented, and looking forward to the next one in 2017. Only forward!