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Title: The drawing lacuna : a reconfiguration of ethnographic enquiry through drawing-as-process
Author: Hodson, Elizabeth A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 1358
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines contemporary drawing practices in Iceland. It reflects upon twelve months of ethnographic research amongst contemporary Icelandic artists in Reykjavík, Iceland. This research was premised on the contention that art is a particular type of practice founded on the processes of its making. These processes allow for ways of seeing and knowing that are applicable to the practice of anthropology: both the artist and anthropologist are creative practitioners and through the practice of art – in particular, drawing – knowledge may be transformed or re-presented as it is transferred from one register to another. Thus, this thesis seeks to reveal the relationship between art and anthropology and, in so doing, to ask if anthropology can use ways of gathering, representing and resolving specific to art-making. The medium of drawing is decisive in this regard. Through an examination of the specificity of drawing as a particular technique – as evinced by the Icelandic artists I worked with – I ask what the processual nature of the medium entails and how this can lead to the re-imagination of ethnographic techniques of description and documentation. This approach is built upon overturning the propensity to focus upon the completed artefact-object within analysis, accounting instead for art-making as it emerges for the artist. To fully explicate these ideas from the point of view of the artist, I approached my research within an interdisciplinary framework, which allowed my own experiences as an artist to come to the foreground. Under the rubric of a ‘graphic anthropology’ I hoped to realise and explore the potential of the ‘anthropologist-artist’ as a research method. Under the rubric of a ‘graphic anthropology’ I hoped to realise and explore the potential of the ‘anthropologist-artist’ as a research method. These two tenets of my project were designed to explore the potential of drawing to bring together the disciplines of anthropology and art-making, and thereby to reimagine a discipline that could embody the theoretical and methodological stances of both.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available