British Museum – Hierarchy and Power (T.O.P.)

Although I’m in the Materials, Process and Self group, I chose Hierarchy and Power, mainly because I’m interested in how power is evoked through mark-making.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find my notes anywhere but I’ll run through what was discussed on the day and what mainly interested me.

Firstly, we were show some drawing by Goya in which the subjects had power imposed upon them, we also looked at some drawing in which the subject themselves held a gaze, a power in the eye that followed the spectator. Hence this discussion was based on the hierarchy and power in relation to the subject. This was developed on when looking at a drawing by Tracey Emin in which the subject is weak, the spectator is gazing down at the figure draped across the ground, it is the viewer who is perhaps, playing the hierarchal position here.

We moved on further to how power has been evoked though mark-making.

We looked at drawings by Henry Moore, in which the form became like a giant landscape and engulfed the space. I really liked the Matisse drawing of the female figure, although most people know him for his cuttings, this Matisse’s drawing demonstrated his ability before his accident. I find it interesting at to how he managed to allow his abstract style to influence his cuttings too, and how he used this method to continue creating.
I found this workshop to be really useful because it helped me think more about what I’m trying to achieve in my own drawings.


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