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Toward [hyper] drawing… through ambiguity

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2016, 13:18 by Russell MarshallRussell Marshall, Phil Sawdon
This article explores ambiguity in contemporary fine art drawing through the presentation of a proposal and subsequent response. Drawing within three figurations: Empson’s seven types of ambiguity in literary prose (first published in 1930), the logical fallacies of ambiguity, and grammatical prepositions (e.g. between, beyond, beside etc.) the article aims to investigate the opportunities that arise if we are ambivalent to, subvert, or challenge definitions of drawing. The article critiques the origins of hyperdrawing tracing from a point of retrieval, where a conceptual and practical view ‘point’ is set into motion (Hill 1966: 44) beginning with a revisiting of the author’s previous research into this hyper view (Sawdon and Marshall, 2009). This trace moves through the three figurations: mapping the seven ambiguities, overlaid and interwoven with five fallacies, drawing emergent prepositions, in advancing logical disorder. An example drawn response, titled Seventh (from a series of drawings titled First through to Seventh), is selectively unwoven in the context of the figurations. The article discusses the opportunities highlighted through this response, returning to the proposal that a position of ambiguity (a lack of definition) is desirable and presents a fallacious definition. Ultimately (drawing) ambiguity is left unresolved, however its opportunities are explored through an examination of the boundary between literary criticism and drawing



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Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice






MARSHALL, R. and SAWDON, P., 2016. Toward [hyper] drawing… through ambiguity. Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, 1(2), pp. 173-196.


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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice and the definitive published version is available at