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Toby Morison Workshop + Brookwood Cemetery Drawings

Visiting lecturers are always inspirational or motivational. Gaining in depth knowledge on working practitioners in the field I am studying for is invaluable. I had looked up some of Toby Morison's work online before his talk, but hearing how he designed them and his reasonings behind the use of composition or object placement really helped give me a sense of his working thought process and how I could think about my location research.

Some key things to note...

  • observing connections between man made and natural world

  • using objects to articulate ideas on humanity - can draw from observation, first hand

  • theme of man made object intersecting with natural world - on location drawings

  • seeing drama/patterns in location which could be originally seen as mundane, by spending the time to take notice of details in the environment

  • drawing benches rather than landscape they're angled to se, reading into objects that are ignored, seeing history of them e.g. benches with plaques in memory people who'd died

  • drawing can be more sensitive way of documenting in certain environments so people don't feel intruded upon, instead of photography as a way of documenting

  • passage of time documented in series or one image, taking notice of how time of day/lighting affects drawing/it's meaning

  • poetic illustrations rather than simply depicting the subject in obvious terms

  • How modern life intersects with historic subject

  • play on words, immigrants to Germany, immigrating bird illustration

In response to his talk, I investigated my university campus, trying to look 'through a lens'. I chose to look at my location through a cartography and architecture, in looking at how a location can be navigated through the arrow signs. I also mapped the route I walked.

Using charcoal meant that it was easier to create quick drawings, whilst emphasising the man made, geometric lines of the architecture, and haivng dramatic bold shadows. The drawings that worked best, I think, are the ones where i focused on a corner or narrowed view as this meant I could also show the textures of the walls and the shadows in more detail.I tried to incorporate the angular drawing style that Morison uses by looking at corners and perspective shots and architecture.

A couple of the feedback post-its I was given in response to my 'through a lens' sketches:

"A journey through the campus. Gestural marks, loose and expressive, good viewpoints"

- For the trip to Brookwood I wanted to use this media specifically as it allowed me to be gestural in my mark making and so give a sense of drama to the drawings.

"Good drawing skills, but better typography and use of colour may make it even better!"

-I agree with this comment, I think the images would have been more impactful if I were to scan them into the computer and type the signs, so the words can be read clearly, and the idea of directions to those locations can be understood.

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