To See the Mountain in the Stone, the Forest in the Tree

Doris Rohr

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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    Exhibition 22 July until 12th August 2017 Workshop Saturday 22nd July 2017Drawing is a form of looking and a means of thinking. Drawing from observation is not restricted to the eyes alone, as the act of looking is combined with other sensory impressions. So when we draw from a pebble, a shell, or a living organism, like a flower, animal or human, and when we draw the landscapes surrounding us, many sensory impressions work together in helping us translate into a drawing or a painting. The sounds of birds, the rustling of the wind, mechanical noises like cars, tractors, the atmospheric changes in the air, pressure, wind, moisture, rain, sun and light, the texture of a surface when handling an object, all these combine to varying degrees when working from life or still life. This makes drawing a very different exercise from drawing from photos, or other viewfinders like the Claude glass or Camera obscura used in the past to compress space into a two dimensional composition.No one knew this better than John Ruskin. He was also aware that drawing is not something reserved to artists, but is a fundamental educational tool to help us see more profoundly, to understand and appreciate the world of nature and culture, clouds, trees, plants, flowers, rocks and mineral as much as architecture, painting, sculpture and the human form. Ruskin proposes drawing as a perceptive tool, holistically combining the science of accurate observation with imagination, moreover with awe and respect for creation. This dialogue with what we see, or rather perceive, is deepened through the meditative act of drawing. In an age of rapid transition, of multi-media images and dissonance of time and place through mobile and digital devices, moments to slow down and to fully and meditatively immerse ourselves with doing one thing at a time have become precious and increasingly rare. The popularity of colouring in books (mindfulness) attests to this. Yet Ruskin knew that we can do better than filling in other people’s outlines – we all have the ability to look and to translate this looking into our own visual language of drawing. We can be mindful and skilful and creative, drawing our own vision and versions of the world.The workshop accompanies above exhibition and is an integral part of the exhibition concept, providing shared additional exhibition space for participant involvement. It aims to combine Ruskin’s approach to drawing from observation with experimental and multi-sensory playful activities exploring sound, touch and sight.Bookings are taken by Florence Mine
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Jul 2017
    EventTo see the Mountain in the Stone, the Forest in the Tree - Florence Arts Centre / Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, Cumbria, UK
    Duration: 22 Jul 201712 Aug 2017


    • Ecology. Drawing. Ruskin. Nature. Participation.


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