A History of Drawing Symposium

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15 Feb 2018

2pm to 6pm

The Camberwell Space exhibition A History of Drawing (16 January – 16 February 2018), will be accompanied by a symposium event about drawing in education. The speakers will highlight Camberwell’s legacy as a leader in the practice and teaching of drawing, and consider how current practices might shape future generations.
The speakers for the symposium include:
Dr Hester Westley (Artists’ Lives Interviewer and Goodison Fellow, National Life Stories, British Library) is going to contextualise the significance of Camberwell’s history in the wider landscape of post-War art education, with particular reference to the teaching of drawing. She will discuss interviews with former alumni, and play audio extracts from the ‘Artists’ Lives’ archive.
Ruth Stiff (Associate Curator, Kew) will be discussing the life and legacy of Margaret Mee, Camberwell graduate and pioneering illustrator in the Amazon jungle; the first woman to highlight the detrimental effects of deforestation and manufacturing to the Brazilian rain forest. 
Camberwell graduate Adam Farah will be giving a presentation related to their own work and experience as a student. Adam has just been appointed Post-Graduate Artist in Residence at South London Gallery and is also participating in the Teaching Within scheme at UAL. They are currently developing various strands of a promiscuous research methodology coined ‘ends theory’. Part of this seeks to break down hierarchical cultural barriers within artistic practice, the places in which knowledge and inspiration are found, and how that is value and utilised, both inside and outside of educational institutions.
In addition, Camberwell graduate Izat Arif will give a presentation about his artist collective MAIX in Malaysia. MAIX has recently purchased a piece of land in the northern part of the Malaysian Jungle, where members travel together to map the land, record flora and fauna using drawing and photography, and build structures that aid in their artistic fieldwork.
Kelly Chorpening will be speaking about the changing needs and interests of students today studying drawing today. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of our current moment is how more diverse perspectives within the art school have influenced a healthy degree of disobedience (using Walter Mignolo’s definition of the word) in relation to the received histories of Modernism, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Where the art for art sake’s ethos of Modernism and pared down aesthetic of Conceptual Art led to a fear of narrative content, this reappraisal has given figurative work new vitality and revived other modes of practice where an end game had seemingly been reached. 
This event is delivered in partnership with Kew Gardens and Drawing Room, London

Image credit: Izat Arif, sketchbook