Drawing With Thread Upon a Duster

A phenomenological investigation of female domestic experience

  • Vanessa Marr University of Brighton


This paper explores the idea that drawing with thread upon duster can be a means of facilitating the phenomenological investigation of the modern-day female domestic experience. Presented through examples of my own creative practice and as part of an ongoing collaborative research project, which position a duster as the focus, it defines the procedural distinctions between drawing with thread and more typical drawing practices whilst investigating relationships between process, form, intention and context.

An exploration of the theory that underpins the concept of phenomenological drawing, citing Merleau-Ponty and Rosand in particular, supports the notion that drawing can embody thinking and experience. The duster is positioned as a catalyst for expression; drawing with thread as a route to unlocking memories of experience. It is argued that drawing ‘into’ an object can enable a deeper conscious and unconscious understanding of the object’s particular materiality and visual language and that by framing the domestic as a context for phenomenological investigation, through an object that ‘speaks’ of domestic tasks, an embodiment of the domestic experience is made possible.

Female perceptions of domesticity are also discussed whilst referencing the role of stitch to empower and yet reflect the historical powerlessness of women. Additionally, definitions of the domestic experience explore how a phenomenological investigation might give form to the liminal state of tasks that are never fully completed.

Through thread-drawn mark making, an internal response to the context and content of the time spent engaging with the duster is made external, making the drawing of lived domestic experience a phenomenological possibility.

How to Cite
MARR, Vanessa. Drawing With Thread Upon a Duster. TRACEY, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p. 1-22, oct. 2019. ISSN 1742-3570. Available at: <https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/TRACEY/article/view/2544>. Date accessed: 05 june 2023.