Re: Drawing. Reconfiguring a feminist response to life drawing practice.

Roberts, Amanda (2018) Re: Drawing. Reconfiguring a feminist response to life drawing practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT This practice-based thesis aims to explore and demonstrate the conflict that exists between traditional, male-oriented attitudes and feminist perceptions of the female nude within the context of life drawing practices. The research interrogates the problematisation of life-drawing practice for female practitioners, proposing that perceived tensions and conflicts can be resolved through practice-based enquiry. In response to this, practice has been devised and tested, that negotiates this opposition, evolving an innovative system of projective geometry for drawing and painting which considers representations of the female nude in a way that is compatible with a specifically female viewpoint. The methodology includes: 1. The development of a portfolio of paintings and drawings of the female nude produced in the life drawing room by a female practitioner. This body of work is integral to the submission. 2. Qualitative questionnaires and discussion groups which inform, support and substantiate findings. 3. A literature review which considers the historical background of life drawing and the role played by female practitioners in academic life-drawing leading to an explanation and practical enquiry of sight-sized drawing that epitomises the habitual rituals of the life drawing class in relation to the researcher’s gendered interests. Conclusions and outcomes: The literature review together with other findings are analysed and synthesized, leading to an overview of four interrelated waves of feminism and feminist theory. The emergence and influence of a Negative Feminist Critique of the Female Nude is shown as related to the subjective female identity and interests of the artist. Through the creation of a feminist strategy, demonstrated to be antagonistic to the traditions of the female nude, have resulted in an alternative canon of the female nude that hinges on the interpretation of artworks and affects, but is distinct from, the experience of practitioners. Interactions with the model are identified as crucial to negotiating existing precepts of the female nude in female-directed life drawing practice. Questioning if linear perspective is intrinsically voyeuristic and analogous to a peep show reveals this position as socially- rather than materially-constructed. The extended drawings articulate multiple viewpoints without fragmentation and prioritise experiential understanding of process over external critiques of content. A series of extended paintings is examined in relation to the artist’s formally based material interests in painting and stitch combined with socially-formed interactions of collaboration and empathy. Resultant art works intervene in the field of existing life-drawing conventions and demonstrate a recognisably female sensibility in their representation of the female nude. These findings will be used to inform future life-drawing practice and pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feminism. Feminist theory, Life drawing
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 14:01
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2018 12:21
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/954

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