Head, Heart and Hand: Narrative Drawing is the First Language of the World

Prof. Mario Minichiello
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Drawing always was and still is our first language of communication as we grow. Culturally drawing still provides a means of expressing the values and nature of a people. The first humans made images to document their history and as a means to retell their experiences and to fulfil a deep set need to describe and connect to the world around them. As a consequence of making an image most of us inadvertently reveal a personal imprint of ourselves. My own research shows that from the very beginning of their course, every student draws/makes descriptive marks in ways that are substantially different from that of their peers. My own observations and research builds on that conducted by Dr Sperry, Dr B Edwards at CAL TEC and Vilayanur S Ramachandran Fellow of All Souls, Oxford. Findings confirm that the act of making a drawing engages the mind in ways that reveal different and complex aspects of consciousness, social function, identity and expression. Picasso said: "Art is the lie that reveals the truth". Yet drawing has never been fully understood and the subject is not seen as particularly important. My research shows how drawing can be developed not just as a tool of self-expression, but as an important carrier for mass communication, a strong counter to the globalising influence of impersonal corporate mass media. This sixty-minute workshop comprises a PowerPoint lecture presentation looking at the nature of drawing as an expressive, mass communication and counter globalising force. This will be followed by a series of drawing actives with 'audience participation' undertaking some making and critique activities. This will be an enjoyable experience to surprise, engage, delight and frustrate. But it will give a small but powerful insight into the true nature and potential of the humanising force of drawing.

Keywords: Participation Lecture and Workshop, Expressive, Propaganda, Communication, Enjoyable, Revealing
Stream: Representations: Media, Communications, Arts, Literature
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: Head, Heart and Hand

Prof. Mario Minichiello

Academic Director, Department of Art and Design School of Social Science and Humanities , Loughborough University

As academic director at Loughborough University School of Art and Design I have maintained a broad range of interests building on my experience as a practising Artist and Designer working across a wide range of design and mass communications issues. This included working at the Natural History Museum in London, to working as Political Illustrator for the Financial Times and The Guardian Newspaper. I also worked for BBC as their reporting artist covering a large number of high profile international events from Spy Catcher trials to the Birmingham Bombers appeal hearings. My imagery formed part of the BBC news award winning BFTA presentation. This has given me a broad overview of international media, from global news to product placement and adverting. I recently conducted research which was sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Board GB, comparing my own reportage work for the Afghanistan conflict with that of the international media. The resulting research evidence was presented in a paper at the diversity conference 2004, UCLA and was praised in the closing plenary session. I have focused on projects which reveal how the media functions and the effect it has on human diversity. And I have worked to use handmade art as a counter to the excesses of the impersonal and globalising nature of multimedia and mono culture.

Ref: D05P0040