Loughborough University
Ammended Thesis 2023 23.10.23.pdf (37.55 MB)

Drawing home - a phenomenological exploration of drawing in the domestic home.

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posted on 2023-11-28, 14:08 authored by Jane Reid

This research investigates the rooms and objects associated with a domestic home and considers in what way they might inform a fine art drawing practice. The research question, How can drawing inside the domestic home sustain a creative feminist drawing practice? emerges from drawing definitions which position drawing as a flexible and open-ended tool of discovery (De Zegher 1996) and a tool to uncover hidden, tacit knowledge (Petherbridge 2008, 2010).

This practice-led research project recognises that a gender imbalance exists within the artworld (Gorrill 2021). The underrepresentation of women artists within the global art market (Morris 2022; Sieghart, 2022) can be attributed to the difficulties women artists face juggling duties of care, work and financial commitments. This thesis aims to demonstrate that rooms and associated contents within the home can sustain an art practice and therefore help to address this imbalance.

The research has been carried out from the perspective of an artist who identifies with the complexities and frustrations associated with maintaining a professional art practice whilst balancing duties of care and associated responsibilities. A hybrid methodology using phenomenology, reflective theory and autoethnography has been developed to capture the lived experienced, whilst allowing a feminist lens to be adopted.

By situating a drawing practice within the domestic home, the artist engages in a practical and reflective analysis of how specific rooms and spaces within the home can support and sustain a drawing practice. The research is informed by literature which positions drawing as a tool of feminist thinking (Pollock, 2021). Texts by Gaston Bachelard (1958) and Virginia Woolf (1929) guided the discovery of the creative potential of domestic spaces and contents which facilitated original insights into the uncovering of hidden knowledge.

Findings identify that by situating a drawing practice within the home, drawing becomes an empowering tool to explore daily routines, repetitive chores, and domestic tasks. By looking anew at the rooms and objects within a domestic home, both the process of drawing and the drawing outcomes are rich in ethnographic detail, generative potential, whilst also making visible hidden tacit knowledge.

My contribution to knowledge offers women artists an alternative method to sustain their art practice by positioning the domestic home as a valuable source of artistic creativity. By situating an art practice within the constraints of domestic life, women can continue to maintain an art practice and begin to address the underrepresentation of women within the art world.


Loughborough University School of Design and Creative Arts



  • Design and Creative Arts


  • Creative Arts


Loughborough University

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© Jane Reid

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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Deborah Harty ; Catherine Rees

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  • PhD

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  • Doctoral

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