Tutorial with Chloe Brown

  • Started this work at the end of second year. I think it’s taken me quite along to figure out what I’m actually interested in and what my practice is.
  • Subconsciously I’ve always documented the bruises I’ve received from pole dancing by taking a photograph.
  • Started off by drawing these images in coloured pencil, showed these at the end of second year in crit.
  • Wanted to come back into third year doing something a little bit different, but still working on bruises. Wanting to make them a little bit more abstract, so that the viewer wouldn’t necessarily make a connection to bruises, but then peers were more interested in the forms and the shapes that were made, and then I think these drawings took away too much from the fact that they were a bruise.
  • No colour. Chloe seems to think, what’s nice about my new drawings is the colour.
  • The pointillism drawings almost look like starlings and the way that they flock.  
  • I thought when I was drawing these images, viewers would see them as galaxies, but luckily I think only one person in my crit made that connection.
  • Started to them paint over my bruises which I evidently showed photographs of this in my supercrit
  • Showed that I almost wanted to keep the bruises on my skin, like tattoos.
  • At this point in time I believe I was really honing in on what I wanted my work to represent.  I wanted to celebrate the bruise, obviously the bruise has a lot of negative connotations, but for me it means something completely different.
  • I see the bruise as progression, an achievement because I’ve learnt a new move, and even though it hurts you can’t but help do it again and again until I get it right.
  • And so to show this celebration I felt like I needed to go back to the colour and this is where I am now with the work.
  • Michelle wanted me to try it on a very large scale, because if I really wanted to celebrate the bruise and show the beauty of it then I need to bombard the viewer with a huge beautiful bruise
  • Really works large scale. Why is it done in a pointillism style? Why have I chosen that?  I got suggestion to look at Paolo Čerić and in particular his mouth series. I really liked the effect and I just wanted to try it out on my own work. Try out a different type of marking making in comparison to what I would normally do.
  • Chloe likes it and feels like it’s very appropriate because it’s like a series of pricking motions and that seems to make sense in terms of the idea of the bruise.
  • That might be worth investigating, in terms of how a bruise is made. It’s something to do with the connection of my body having the bruises, and my body making the work. Which makes it really interesting?
  • It’s almost like a performative drawing.
  • Are these photographs of bruises that you are then following?
  • Is the plan at the moment to do a series of them? Yes
  • For the degree show do you think you’re that far ahead in terms of what you want to show?  Maybe I think I want to experiment on a variety of papers before I pick the best one for the work. So possibly trying out tissue paper, something at little more skin like. The worry about tissue paper for me is that it’s too delicate and would just rip as I was drawing it, but then that could become a part of the work
  • Possibly try out papers like onion skin, parchment and vellum, which is made out of skin (could take it to that literal place and see what happens)
  • But then that brings up leather, but then that might become too literal.
  • But so far Chloe thinks that they as really nice drawings
  • I really wanted to get to that point where people will look at my drawings and think Wow
  • Scale wise it’s the right decision to blow them up, it’s not always the right decision but for this it works really well.  If you had quite a number of them in a room, it maybe that its worthwhile experimenting with space, how far apart you display from each other and how you hang them
  • I have been thinking about how to hang them, but it’s something I’m really struggling with, maybe a frame, but I don’t normally like frames because of its reflection, but maybe for these drawings a frame might work.
  • Again need to experiment with hanging but Chloe thinks having the quality of paper is really important, in terms of how you understand the surface that you’re drawing on, and therefore she quite likes the fact they are sort of hanging off the wall its very papery
  • Don’t really want to use the bulldog clip approach, it’s too common, and you see it a lot.
  • But I’m struggling to find another way of how to hand the work without destroying the paper.
  • Just wondering if you could make very fine holes in the paper, maybe a rivet. In dress making, they have a machine that push a hole with a metal circle – could try that, then that means I could have some sort of hook that they sit on.
  • What I think wouldn’t work, would be if it became too over literal – almost making a stretcher of skin.
  • Similarity between tattooing the surface of the skin.
  • Keep it sophisticated, I don’t want it to become too literal
  • I’m not too sure if I want people know that these bruise have actually come from pole dancing or not, but if they don’t know this then I’m worried they might link it back to their negative connotations, but hopefully the way that I’m drawing that I’m drawing them will just make them think beauty.
  • Chloe generation might think about pole dancing in quite a negative way, women in her generation anyway, as they have a certain understanding that pole dancing is sexual exploitation, but my generation don’t think of it like that because it’s become this form of exercise, which is very removed from that, but for Chloe that negative stigma around pole dancing goes around in her head. Now whether that is something you want to become a part of the work I don’t know.
  • I suppose the only way I could show this within the work is with a statement or in the title, but then I’m not very good at titling
  • Or I just display a pole near the piece.
  • Looking at my painted bruises photographs – Chloe likes them, could display these photographs within the same space as the drawings, not sure if it would make it too literal, but it might be worth investigating it again.
  • The photographs themselves could become even more abstract, I like the face that the rest of your body disappears and then so does the bruise, the bruise almost becomes a whole. Quite a nice connection to be made between the two works.
  • Should keep investigating the photographs, try different framing, cropping the image more maybe, and the scale of these mages might be very small within the space. Would be best to display them within the same space but not next to each other, so that the audience has to make a connection between the two of them, but that might be a step to far and the drawings work just as they are.
  • When you look over to the very left hand side of the images its very bruise like, then greeny area  
  • I don’t know how obvious the work needs to be, they are rather aesthetically beautiful images, and if you eventually realise as a viewer that these are bruise, that’s quite a nice moment of realisation
  • That’s is generally what I’m trying to achieve with my drawings, I want the viewer to immediately think they are beautiful, and if they can make that link then I suppose I’ve achieved what I’ve set out to do.
  • How the bruise is made maybe muddy’s the water a bit, because then there are all these other connotations around pole dancing, that are very sexual, whether I like it or not those thoughts will be there.
  • I wonder what brings so many people to pole dance lately, a fitness thing. I always wanted to try it, I’ve danced throughout my life and to me this was just a form of dance id not tried yet.
  • Really pole dancing is kind of like gymnastics, cross between gymnastics and dance. There is a horizontal pole in gymnastics; it’s just become vertical in a way.
  • It’s really tiring and painful and really hard
  • Isn’t it bizarre that is started off as this sort of like erotic dancing, might be quite interesting to work out where it came from, all this could be in my research, where did it originate?
  • Originated in clubs? But there is also Chinese pole and pole dancing has taken influence on that.
  • In different countries it means different things as well, in Russia for example, they have 14 year olds competing in world championships,  it’s not sexualised at all they just see it as a sport
  • When I was researching my dissertation I wrote about Oskar Schlemmer and he had a piece of work titled ‘Pole Dance’ where he attached pole to his limbs, so I found that really interesting that the work had been given that title.
  • Start building up my research now, then the work might start to make a little but more sense
  • Have I found any artists that work with bruises, not really it’s quite a specific area to investigate.
  • Could look at someone like Marina Abramovic, just at the way that she uses her body as a tool and that might mean that the residue of a performance is left on her body for example Rhythm 0
  • Or there is Yoko Ono that does similar things
  • Even look at Hester’s work she does the kissing pieces, often after doing a kissing piece Hester will have damaged her lip and it will be all bruised.
  • Think about the composition more, because I could use the space of the paper more. I’m thinking about cropping the paper in to a square, the idea behind this is with the bruise you can look at it in any way and angle and I think square paper will allow me to experiment with which way up to display the drawing.
  • What about a circle? The circle lets you focus on a particular subject more in a way that a square wouldn’t. Almost spotlights the image.
  • Chloe agrees that the square is better than a rectangle because the rectangle is so common.
  • Circle might look quite strange and might be very difficult to hang, but it will be worth the experiment just to see what happens.
  • Helen Chadwick – works with the circle quite a lot and she worked with the body. Used her body an awful lot within her works and a metaphor for the body. Used light boxes and often made works in a circle. Involved with a crossover between art and science, so for her the circle became I kind of microscope lens. 
  • Titles can often be an insight into the work, could possible call the drawings ‘Pole 1’ ‘Pole 2’, the work pole is in there. Not bruise 1, bruise 2, might be too obvious.
  • Titling the work will give the viewer a bit of an insight
  • Can make the research really visual. Book of influences.
  • Would be really good to get a tutorial with Penny.
  • Artist that used the love bite.

 Action Plan Points

  • Helen Chadwick ‘Wreaths to Pleasure’
  • Helen Chadwick ‘Stilled Lives’ Book
  • Think about the shape of the paper, experiment (circle, square), the space around the drawing
  • Think about how to hang this. Avoid being too literal
  • How important is it to know these bruise came from pole dancing
  • Develop research, this is a rich subject, but you’re not evidencing it yet.
  • Mona Hatoum – work is very much about the body, but not specifically the bruise.


Tony Orrico - Penwald Drawings


Penwald Drawings are a series of bilateral drawings in which Tony Orrico explores the use of his body as a tool of measurement to inscribe geometries through movement and course.


His choreographic gestures derive from the limitation of (or spontaneous navigation within) the sphere of his outstretched arms.


Line density becomes record of Orrico’s mental and physical sustain as he commits his focus to a greater concept of balance throughout extended durations of drawings.


The master of each drawing is a conceptual score of Orrico’s efficacious techniques, imposed variables, and specified durations or objectives.

Performative Drawing Workshop with Hester Reeve 

Person A (Alice Carter) - is the Pencil

Person B (Myself) - is the Drawer 

A way of experiencing drawing without full control of the pencil, during this drawing exercise Person A would slightly change how they were holding/ acting with the pencil, for example, making their hand go floppy, resisting the drawing, moving the pencil in a back and forth motion or a side to side motion while Person B is attempting the draw the subject matter. 

Tutorial with Michelle Atherton

Looking at the photographs of my painted bruised legs, on a black background.

  • My work is about the celebration of the bruise, many bad connotations to the bruise, but I want to celebrate it. Bruises are beautiful.
  • Why do you want to celebrate it? It is to do with the athlete in you? Michelle can remember Chris Hoy talking about his training for the Olympics, and he would train and train until he felt sick and falls of the bike in immense pain, and he would just get back on the bike and do it again.
  • For me, when I get a bruise it means I’ve achieve something, I’ve learnt something new, especially when I’m been trying to get a new move for so long, and then I finally get this bruise to show and prove that I’ve achieve it.
  • Do you always get bruises? When you learn a new move you will more than likely get a bruise from that, because I’m potentially breaking blood vessels, but for me it’s an achievement of progression. When you do a move so many times, you’re body and your skin gets used to it.  Almost hardens to it in a way.
  • Started looking at Robyn LeRoy Evans, she created a piece of work about bruises in 2010. So she photographed her bruise, and then she painted on them and made prints. I really liked this idea so I tried it myself, painting my own legs and making prints, but then I ended up photographing these painted marks that id created on my skin.
  • Michelle doesn’t get to bruise from these images. They look like so kind of mark, and they look kind of painterly, I think they are dancers legs because of the poses, the three images in the middle specifically
  • Why blacken them, why not show the colours, brings up this idea of tattooing and I want to make them permanent and keep them on my skin.
  • Have I tried just photographing them as they are? Yeah I have, I have a collection but I’ve not attempted at photographing them really well. 
  • It’s hard; it’s hard to photograph a bruise.
  • If you want me to celebrate something, then I’ve got to be able to indulge in it, I’ve got to be able to see it as something lovely, otherwise I’m not going to be able to celebrate it, I’m going to repeatedly go back to the negative. Bruises, Michelle has personally always found the colours quite fascinating. But she thinks if I want to celebrate them then I’ve got to give the viewer the bruise, the thing that is beautiful about it, and the problem with these images is that I don’t see the bruise. 
  • Have you moved on to these images because you don’t quite know what you’re doing with the drawings?
  • I feel like I have so many ideas, feel like I want to do a performance, but I’m not entirely sure, possibly doing something with the pole, as people in the Super Crit preferred the fact that they knew the bruises were from pole dancing, they said that it empowered the work more.
  • Michelle thinks I need to get in touch with Robyn, and ask her if she can come and take some photographs of my bruises, and some photographs of the pole. Seems like I want the work to be a specific thing and sometimes that quite a difficult way of making. But if you really want beautiful pictures, give the viewer beautiful picture.
  • These bruises look like marks but they look like graphic marks, but I think that’s because of the background.
  • Michelle things that I need to give her really seductive images of bruises.  I need to be able to look at the image and say that looks lovely.
  • What Robyn is trying to show within her images is … What pain is for one person is pleasure for another.
  • There is a huge argument around pole dancing, and that’s what I want to do, then I need to get somebody who can photograph the bruises that shows them in a way to be beautiful.
  • You could even get really seductive images of the pole. Get it lit really nicely. The pole to you isn’t just vertical when you’re on it, you see it from different angles, and you play around with this in the images in a quite minimalist sort of way.
  • Need to try and do this before the assessment, Photoshoot with Robyn with my bruise. Providing I have bruises – this could be a problem.
  • If this is a problem then I need to come up with some other work.
  • How often do you pole dance? I usually go once or twice a week but because I’ve been so busy lately I’ve not been as much.
  • Need to try and get another piece of work that I can make for assessment.
  • What are your other ideas? Had a tutorial with Yuen the other day and we was talking about the science behind how we get bruises, and we came to the conclusion that I need to display my drawings the opposite way.
  • How would that visually look different? Yuen suggested holding them up to the light, mentioned that they looked more bruise like. The drawing becomes subtler, something coming through. Need to get thinner paper. Draw it on thinner paper so that the drawing shows throw, and you can still show it normally.
  • Possibly create light boxes.
  • The thing about the drawings is that it takes it away from the bruise and it becomes more about form, so you will have to be happy that the form will take the work somewhere else, you can experiment with that and see how it works, but I think what makes it interesting is how interesting it is as a form.
  • Once your dissertation is in, can you do a bit of pole dancing to get some bruises? Yeah, I’m hoping to go over the holidays to give myself something else other than work.
  • What other ideas do you have other than these drawings, other than bruises? I want to do a sound piece, was doing a film work shop with Rose Butler, and for that I filmed on of the girls dance on the pole, and we ended up talking about the sound that’s created when dancing on the pole, also the sound and breath of the dancer, so I thought it would be interesting to create some sort of sound piece.
  • What do I enjoy doing? As in making? I like learning, I like trying new things, I like drawing.
  • Could your drawings be screen prints? In colour? Could try this, I enjoy printing. Never actually done screen printing before so I would have to have an induction. And maybe it’s just a mass of colour. I assume that you have a document/ catalogue of your bruises, so many from these documentation of bruise, you could somehow make a series of screen prints in quite vivid colours, using the colour as a sort of shape on the screen print, and it doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t look like a bruise.




Aims for Assessment

  • Try and get some bruises and get in touch with Robyn.
  • Create some screen prints from my bruises.
  • And make a small sound recording.
  • Try and get your dissertation done early so you can make the work as soon as possible.
  • Doesn’t matter if the works aren’t fully formal, we can discuss about them moving towards something.
  • Do these, try and open the work up, see if there is something I can develop from it, and if not we need to do a bit of a turn.
  • Robyn will be really good to work with. Because of that erotic imagery she creates very well with the camera, need a relatively close up image of the bruise. 
  • And some photographs with the pole. Do some with the pole and without the pole. Not sure about background, just go in and play. Free yourself up a bit. Robyn will be really responsive.