A solo exhibition of drawings, exhibited in Kensington Palace, London, 9 January -9th May 2013. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue publication and an educational workshop. The exhibition is the outcome of 3 years research with the underwear collections housed at Kensington which are rarely seen and cannot be easily displayed, including underwear belonging to Queen Victoria (a recent acquisition attracting considerable press attention: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/queen-victorias-bloomers-revealed-1783555.html).
The project has also involved delivering drawing workshops at Kensington funded entirely by Historic Royal Palaces.
The project received substantial in kind funding from Kensington and was supported by Lancaster University Small Grant (£4140).
About the project
Situated at the frontier of drawing research, this interdisciplinary project researches parallels between the activities of conservators and those of drawing. It asks what drawing, as an analytical tool of Art, might share with the activities of material conservation in a mutual preoccupation with preserving fugitive matter. It aims to provide significant new insight into the language, forms and processes of drawing and explore its relevance as an interdisciplinary research tool. This constitutes an original contribution to the burgeoning research area of Art–Science collaboration: although there is an established history of artists working with science (Wellcome Trust/Cape Farewell projects), essentially, the dialogue between art and material conservation has been little explored. More significantly, this is the first instance of substantial and rigorous fine art research on the Kensington Collections. This exhibition tests what this collaboration may reveal about the artefacts and how tensions of concealment and display inherent to them may be understood.
In engaging with conservation, the drawings push the boundaries of conventional drawing, testing the limits of visual and material delicacy associated with this discipline through unconventional processes and materials, informed by conservation. The resulting works are unusual drawings-object hybrids; as such the research contributes to both clusters of languages of Form and Process in the LICA research strategy.
This timely project responds to current debates within the international drawing research community about the relationship of drawing to other disciplines (Garner 2008, Ridley & Rodgers 2010). The methodology and emergent drawings are both innovative in the field of contemporary drawing research.
Kensington Palace is a prestigious venue of international standing, part of Historic Royal Palaces comprising Tower of London, Hampton Court Kew and Kensington. One of the major London museums, it attracts an international audience. Through partnership with the Princes Drawing School (which has studios onsite), it has become a venue for exhibiting drawing.
Emergent outcomes have been shown in international juried exhibitions: The 5th international Drawing Biennale (2009), touring Melbourne and Victoria, Australia, The Art of Research, Helsinki, Finland). An interim paper discussing the project methodology was delivered as a plenary paper at The Art of Research- processes, methods results’ conference in Helsinki, 24-25th November 2009. A version of this paper will be published as a chapter in a forthcoming publication (‘The Art of Research- processes , methods results’) by Aalto University, Helsinki in collaboration with Chelsea college of Art (UAL): Autumn 2011.
The project was also presented in a paper at the International Drawing Research Network conference 2010. http://www.drawing-research-network.org.uk/drn-2010-conference-programme-and-summaries/