The centrality of experience in reportage drawing

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Reportage drawing is typically aligned with a kind of aesthetic that is resultant of the demands on the act. What is less known is the wide diversity within the practice and the ways in which multi-fold experience is the central motivation for the act. Significant developments in the field have pushed the expressive potential of the act towards greater complexity in form and content.

The methods for capturing the complex motivations and in-situ experiences have brought me to Autoethnography and practice-based investigations and experiments. The deep mining of experience that is possible in autoethnography in my own work and others, has led to some compelling observations about the moveable interests and shifting priorities in reportage drawing and the ways the act shares some similarities with the psychogeographic literary movement in fluid, observational and location specific concerns. The primary challenge of adapting a methodology from ethnographic research is largely a question of culture. While there is a clear engagement with a culture or cultures in reportage drawing, that cultural subject, while rooted to a specific location, does not address or identify the ‘subject’ in the same way an ethnographer would. I would suggest that with reportage drawing, the cultural question is two fold; we have the culture being drawn and the culture of the drawing itself. In addition, the ‘subject’ here is highly subjective and therefore our orientation is rooted to the practitioner and the cultural practice of reportage.

My aims are to open up the practice of reportage drawing and explore, from the inside, how practitioners cultivate the unexpected in reportage and engage with spaces and places in dialogic, divergent and highly personal ways. Although reportage drawing has deep roots in journalistic enterprise, I contend that even purist approaches are bent by the prismatic filter of experience and the properties of drawing itself.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2016
EventSense/Experiment/Surprise/Understanding - Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jan 201622 Jan 2016


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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