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Ruskin's Good Looking!

Research output: Exhibits, objects and web-based outputsExhibition

Published
Publication date2019
Place of PublicationLancaster
PublisherLancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Ruskin’s Good Looking is an exhibition of large-scale wax drawings exhibited at Brantwood (John Ruskin museum) for the worldwide Ruskin Bicentenary programme in 2019. Ruskin’s Elements of Drawing (1857) argues that drawing sharpens visual attention. This project puts this premise to the test, using it to uncover material ‘clues’ of Ruskin’s life embedded in his clothing. The project methodology brought together an artist (Casey) and Canadian curator- ‘Dress Detective’ (Ingrid Mida) to visually examine the garments through drawing combining their research specialisms to unite the rigour of a forensic examination with the poetic approach to object based analysis.This is the first time that these garments have undergone close visual analysis. Casey's drawing discovered  features in the garments revealing new narratives. The drawings are made through a new specialist technique developed by Casey for this project.  The exhibition and supporting catalogue provide new evidence for the value of drawing as a research method, contributing to a growing debate within studies of material culture (Mida 2014; Causey 2017; Anderson 2018). The catalogue includes by international scholars Anuradha Chatterjee ( UNSW Sydney)Ingrid Mida ( Ryerson University Toronto). The exhibition is be part of a year-long programme of activities critically reappraising the work of Ruskin. The methodology and outputs will provide new insights into the language, forms and processes of drawing and explore its relevance as an interdisciplinary research tool. This responds to current debates within the drawing research community about the relationship of drawing to other disciplines (Garner 2008, Ridley & Rodgers 2010, Anderson 2015, 2016).The project was supported by The Brantwood Trust, Lancaster University and an artist International Development Fund award from Arts Council England and the British Council. The research was shared in public workshops for the Being Human Festival 2018 supported by Being Human, The British Academy, AHRC and Centre for Advanced Studies, University of London. The exhibition featured on the cover of Textile Journal and on ITV news.

Bibliographic note

ISBN 9781862203600