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DRN2024 Drawing Repetition; Rhythm & Syncopation

1 March 2024

4 mins

13th March 2024 11.00-13.00 (GMT)

The first in the series of events exploring Drawing Repetition.

Serena Smith, rolling stone, 2023

Tickets are available here:

This panel brings together researchers investigating the rhythmic trace in contemporary practice, in relation to repetitive, variable, sequential, and choreographic acts of drawing. 

Kelly Cumberland’s research explores repetition and difference in terms of a series of rhythmic formulations, which constantly change between stillness and movement when looking at a drawing. Her presentation will consider how the ‘gathering’ and ‘dispersal’ of rhythm and pattern within drawing highlight structural variations and possibilities. In relation to her dissected drawings and biomorphic installations, she will share aspects of working methods that enable haptic spaces to evolve through the multiplication and reduction of marks. And with reference to works that capture evolutionary shapeshifting cellular imagery in various sculpted and spatialised black and white worlds, she will expand upon how these recordings of sequence and behaviours, result in a rendition of changing forms and their various expansions and contractions.

Dr Joanna Leah’s presentation will propose that the repetitious and choreographic acts of drawing violently and energetically resist form as a force of alteration.  Drawing on the ‘formless’ methods of Bois and Krauss (1997), she will consider how the rhythmic beat of repetition is like breathing time. Performed in acts of language, this repetition might be encountered in ‘cut, cut, cut’ or ‘push, push, push’, as the forces of a vital rhythmic beat that suspends the work in a temporal encounter, that resists completion and is ever open to deviation. With reference to three works of drawing with air, water and light, her presentation will demonstrate repetitious actions mapped in one place, in a method that layers numerous moments on top of one another, as a means to process one place and one moment.  

Danica Maier’s site-specific drawings merge textiles, fine art, and text, to function as tools for exchanging ideas across these domains, and emphasise the fusion of mark-making with, and as, writing. Her performative talk will discuss the unrepeating-repeat as a core method within her practice; mimicking a formal presentation, she will convey and embody how the unrepeating-repeat can prompt shifts in perspective, through a circularity that has subtle yet meaningful variations.  Critically underlying her method, is the perceptual shift engendered by ‘aspect-seeing’ (Wittgenstein 1953). In the context of drawing, she tactically engages this notion of an unrepeating-repeat and uses subtle shifts to hide and reveal meanings, with the intention of giving viewers an experience of perspectival seeing and understanding. Through these drawn environments, Maier proposes, the subtle variation of the unrepeating-repeat can operate as soft rebellion or seductive illuminating tool.   

The session will be chaired by Serena Smith.


Kelly Cumberland is an artist and PhD practice-based researcher at the University of Leeds. She is exhibiting and presenting nationally and internationally and is also an academic acquiring an extensive portfolio of teaching experience both at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has been lecturing since 2001.

Dr Joanna Leah is an artist, researcher and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University whose practice explores choreographic tactics in diagrammatic drawing, writing, installation, and performance to investigate movement patterns and systems.  Joanna’s work explores expanded drawing practices to fracture the narratives of place, ecologies and systems, poetic gestures as spatial critiques.

Danica Maier is an artist and Associate Professor at Nottingham Trent University, draws from her background in painting and textiles in projects like “Returns,” exploring post-industrial landscapes and craft skills. “Bummock,” which delves into unseen parts of archives and collaborating on “Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity “, creating visual-musical graphic scores using historical lace patterns. Recent chapter, ‘The Unrepeating-Repeat,’ features in the anthology ‘Pattern and Chaos’ by Intellect Publishing.

Serena Smith is an artist, writer, and doctoral candidate at Loughborough University. Drawing on a transdisciplinary field, lived experience in the printmaking studio, and genealogies of knowledge that inform the artisan practices of lithography, her ongoing research explores the language of stone lithography.


hosted by TRACEY at Loughborough University

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