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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2022): Drawing and Loss

Drawing (Out) Place

27 October 2020


This paper discusses how drawing might mitigate ‘loss’ of place. By memorialising, recalling, reimagining and standing in for distant, inaccessible and/or missing places, drawing might bring together ‘lost’ and ‘encountered’ fragments in an attempt to retrieve places one had previously ‘dwelled’ in. The person engaged in the act of mark making is immersed and drawn into the process, as drawing makes and at the same time loses its own maker. An intensive drawing process often engulfs one’s thoughts and general focus; it makes one look away from everything else to be able to focus attentively on lines and marks up to a point of blindness. The practice of drawing also entails complex decision-making; a good amount of energy is invested in the heightened hand, eye and mental coordination as gradually some things might be lost or encountered in the process. The following paper presents a place-oriented practice centred around four charcoal drawings emerging from an ancient valley (wied) in the Mediterranean island of Malta. Borrowing from a phenomenological tradition it is set to describe how place might be re-visited through drawing during an exceptional period of lockdown and deprivation of outdoor time.