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drawing through touch: a phenomenological approach

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conference contribution
posted on 14.07.2015, 11:31 by Deborah Harty
The paper will discuss the phenomenology of drawing and how this may be useful for thinking about documenting and holding information, to provide aids when working with blind and visually impaired students. Drawing is said to be phenomenological: not only capable of recording its own making, but also the movement of the thoughts and body of the draftsman. Rosand (2002, p.16) states, “Responding to drawings, we make our way back, through line, to the originary impulse of the draftsman. Interpretation involves a connecting act of re-creation, the self-projection of the viewer reimagining the process of drawing.” Are these still viable claims when the visual element of the drawing is removed and replaced by touch? Working from the standpoint of Merleau-Ponty (2004) - who sought to identify the specific role of the body as mediator between the world and self - the paper will argue that they are and, as a consequence, drawing has the potential to enhance the documentation and transferring of information to the blind and visually impaired, through tactiles created from their own experiences of drawing through touch.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts

Published in

Drawing Out


HARTY, D., 2012. drawing through touch: a phenomenological approach. IN: Drawing Out, University of the Arts, Chelsea, London, 28th - 30th March 2012.


process: arts


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is a conference paper.




University of the Arts London


Loughborough Publications