Thinking through drawing
Kettle's Yard, Cambridge
"When John Ruskin set a room full of stevedores to work drawing leaves and pebbles at the Working Men's College, he was not trying to empty the Pool of London and cram the garrets of Chelsea with a new breed of artist. Drawing was an epistemological tool, a way of coming to know what something really looked like; but it also had its moral aspect, since the thing seen and understood became visible and understandable to others through its rebirth as a drawing.
("The greatest thing any soul can do is to see clearly, and say what it has seen in a clear way": Ruskin.) If the results were beautiful in some sense, if they sparked an unfamiliar tremor in the breasts of the WMC's students, then so much the better. But truth, ceteris paribus, was more important than beauty.
The interesting thing about drawing, however, is that in truth it rarely tells you what things really look like. The conventional tools of drawing -pen, pencil or silverpoint, charcoal, chalk, the longtailed Chinese brush -all produce a very imperfect incarnation of something which anyway, according to some, doesn't strictly exist, namely the line."
Our interpretation of what is in a photographic image and how we read it, it seems, must be subject to the same filtering that is used in drawing an image:
"The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced." (Jean Baudrillard )
Our Universe is not only an illusion, Its also artificial.