Painting and Drawing are explored as language and disciplinary framework, and in addition re-defined in terms of their changing function within different contexts and times, and in relationship to other art forms. Further, they would provide a basis for explorations in other media, or could be incorporated into other forms of practice.
Through active engagement with the medium in all its aspects, a combination of perspectives unique to each student would emerge during the first semester, which would enhance not only their knowledge of the visual world but also their capacity to interpret and comprehend it. Short, intensive workshops based on folk, classical and street/popular/traditions would also be organized in addition to interactions with contemporary artists. Apart from the learning experience that this entails, it would build an understanding between different kinds of practitioners, extending beyond art into community.
The studio component of the course would be complemented by adequate theoretical support. Talks, relevant reading, consultations with other faculty etc. would form an intrinsic part of the instruction. In addition, the course would offer occasional refresher sessions in Life Studies, Portraiture, Landscape and Still Life; both faculty and students could avail of the facility.
To widen an understanding of Drawing today, in addition to the formal sessions mentioned above, an attempt will be made to compile the different methods and applications that have come into being over time. Short modules that would explore forms of drawing which find extensive application outside of its hitherto prescribed realm would be invaluable. Experienced visiting faculty from the disciplines of architecture, engineering, botany, the digital media, etc. could conduct short modules on ways in which drawing supports most forms of research. At the end of every year, the course material would be put together as a growing body of knowledge that spreads beyond the boundaries of its specific disciplines, and which would in turn create a new curriculum for Drawing.
Students would gain perceptions to do with space, scale and dimension as seen from varying perspectives, and could put it to good use in creating their own propositions. It needs to be said that this is as yet an uncharted area of research and that our department would be one of the very few, if not the only, that might offer such possibilities.
Equally important is the fact of being located within a landscape and among communities; to find ways of building networks through projects, investigations, and friendships. It would involve field trips related to local histories/sites, or any subject of the student’s choice, carried out with a range of investigative visual media. It is believed that these explorations could, apart from exposing and sensitizing students to the multiple realities that surround them, create practices that would go beyond the homogeneity of an exclusive ‘art school’ language. It further creates a genuinely engaged viewership – with a breadth of scope and agency that would continue to grow with each exchange, beyond the currently prescribed boundaries of what constitutes art. Students would be encouraged to re-imagine cultural and economic frameworks for practice, either collectively, individually or through institutional/organizational affiliations; there is a need at the present time to re-create and extend contexts for art and its supporting structures.
The course is seen as complementing the core area of Drawing and Painting and is experimental and process-based. The notion of Praxis is central to the module, and the emphasis is on finding a grammar that binds medium (explored in the earlier module), concept and subject-matter in an integrated approach to the excavation of meaning. Theoretical support that could expand and enrich the field of inquiry would be provided by core/visiting faculty and by other departments.
It will be expected that the students would produce a dissertation pertaining to their choice of project, or to reflections on their own practice. Articulation through speaking and writing about one’s work and related concerns would be encouraged throughout the course. Students would present their work to an audience at the end of each year.