Contracted Site

Artist on Paper, Drawing

  • Sharon Jewell Queensland University of Technology


Traditionally the notion of drawing in-situ has suggested the physical presence of the artist in the environment under scrutiny. The assumption here of enhanced connectivity, however, is hasty in light of the idea that situation implies a relative spatial value determined by the interplay of subject and location, where the possibility of not being “in-situ” is problematic. The fact that traditional drawing in-situ, such as the representation of land as landscape, requires a framing of the world out there implies a distance between the perceived object and the drawing surface. Rather than suggesting that some drawing is situated and other sorts of drawing are not, however, I argue that situation or site is variously extended and contracted depending on the nature of mediation between surface and environment. The suggestion here is that site is not so much a precondition as a performative function, developed in the act of drawing and always implicating the drawing surface. In my discussion I first evoke an experience of drawing where site is incrementally reeled in, to finally be seen as something in the making. I then focus on specific works by Toba Khedoori and Cameron Robbins where the drawing surface testifies to its own emergence as site. As well, in using my own recent drawing practice as a case study, I argue that the geography of site is delimited neither by horizon nor the boundaries of the paper. Rather, I propose that site and drawing surface coincide in variously contracted and extended ways.

How to Cite
JEWELL, Sharon. Contracted Site. TRACEY, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 1, p. 1-9, feb. 2014. ISSN 1742-3570. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 july 2019.