Visual Intelligences Research Project

Symposia : The Documentation of Fine Art Processes and Practices : Gerry Davies

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Investigation contemporary artists' notebooks
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GERRY DAVIES, Senior Lecturer, LICA: Art, Lancaster University

Investigation contemporary artists' notebooks

In 2004 I set out, clutching an AHRC small project award, to interview artists and investigate: if, how and why contemporary practitioners use sketchbooks and notebooks.  My questions were: how private and compulsive an activity is it?  how close is this kind of drawing to the first moments of visual invention? and does your sketchbook drawing continue or depart from an inherited legacy?

Alongside these questions I hoped the research would open up a rich, hitherto unexplored territory, and demonstrate, through examining a spectrum of drawing activities, the contemporary strength, diversity and values of an historic activity.

Gerry Davies was born in the Cynon Valley, South Wales in 1957.  After undergraduate study in sculpture at Wolverhampton Polytechnic he did his MA in painting at the Royal College of Art, London.  He has exhibited widely in the UK, most recently a solo show at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham; he has also held arts related fellowships and residencies, notably Artist in Residence at Durham Cathedral and Fulbright Scholar at Purdue University, USA.  Gerry is currently Senior Lecturer in Drawing at Lancaster University.  He lives and works in North Yorkshire.