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Drawing was the first widespread recording technology. Tens of thousands of years before we were able to record sounds and moving images we made records of our surroundings on cave walls. Some of these early works also represent our first attempts to convey a sense of movement through drawing and light. In this workshop we draw movement, draw with the movement of our own bodies, and draw with video, both as a means to document movements and drawing processes, and as a medium with its own set of possibilities for drawing.

You will be able to book tickets from 9:30am on Friday 5 February.
Lecturer: Ben Denham
Location: Meet building 11 seminar room on Tuesday 23 February, NAS building 2, 1st year photomedia studio after that (Wednesday – Friday).

In this workshop we consider the history of the relationship between video and drawing. We use the work of diverse artists to think about how we can record movement through drawing and how different approaches to this task relate to certain technical details of video image capture and processing.

Yul Scarf, Still life of a falling monument, 2020

Our drawing work begins with a session in which we attempt to capture the movements of a model. We will use this dynamic form of drawing from life to grapple with the problem of capturing movement through drawing. We continue by drawing from video projections of moving bodies and consider how this process differs from our experience of drawing from life.

We also think about how drawing can record actions and movement directly as can be seen in the work of Matthew Barney and Carolee Schneeman below.

The next stage of the workshop involves working with digital manipulation of video to redraw individual frames based on the movement in the original footage. We explore the possibilities of using digital processes to change the way we perceive movement. These approaches have a long history art and photography, from Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey’s motion studies in the late 19th and early 20th century, to Daniel Crooks and Jim Campbell’s recent video work.

Daniel Crooks, Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement), video still, 2009-2010

The aim of this workshop is to create a dynamic play between the tangible materials of traditional drawing and the less tangible materiality of digital video. The process of drawing with movement across these different media allows us to explore both drawing and video in ways that wouldn’t be possible when we work with these media independently.

Mike Parr, 100 Breaths, 2002, black and white video, sound, 52mins


Ben Denham is a lecturer in drawing at the National Art School. He has two decades of experience working with drawing and video. He as also worked in independent film production. He has a strong interest in the materiality of digital media and how it relates to traditional drawing materials.