Aileen M. Stackhouse
Aileen holds a BA from the Open University (1992) and a BA in Sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Scotland (1998). She also completed a Masters in Fine Art (2000) and a PhD (2006) under the title Trahere; the sense of unease in making a mark; the practice of drawing and the practice of thinking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. Aileen participated in various projects and exhibitions, such as, Drawing undone (2007), Centrespace, Visual Research Centre, DCA, Dundee; The visitor and the other (2006), Scotish Collective, Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinbugo; Something Different (2007) White Gallery, Dundee; scratch notes – an unfolding (2005), uma colaboração com Sandra Mcneil, Aberdeen Art Gallery; a twenty eight day drawing for conversation (2004), Visual Research Centre – Dundee Contemporary Arts; The Drawing Room (2002) The travelling Gallery, City Arts Centre, Edinburg; Class (2002), Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews; mimi (2001), Changing Room, Stirling; where was i… part one (2000), Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen; Re-Write (2000), W.A.S.P.S. Studios, Edinburg. She presented papers at various events, such as, Debating the difference (2007), Visual Art workshop for Scottish World and Image/Women’s Contemporary Studies; How can this be done differently – Drawing for Visual Thinking (2006), at the workshop The Discipline of Creativity: Exploring the Paradox, Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, University of St. Andrews; I feel my eye seeing ‘ I draw my hand feeling (2005), at the Conference “Drawing – the process”, Kingston upon Thames, London; Drawing Thought (2005), at the Colloquium “Practice as Research”, Visual Research Centre, University of Dundee; To draw thought… I do not draw how I want to draw (2005), at the Conference “Imagination and Invention – Interdisciplinary Conference”, University of the Arts, Berlin. Aileen worked as a Teaching Fellow at the School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design between 2002 and 2007, and she has been part of various boarding committees for art projects and events since 2000.
Aileen studied Sculpture in the School of Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (graduated 1998). Throughout that time she became interested in how we navigate the world and how our perception is influenced. She used a range of investigative methods including; experimenting with the absence of light, alternative portrayals of the body and our understanding of its physical presence. She began to explore philosophical works regarding human consciousness.
She continued to examine these questions while studying for her Masters in Fine Art (graduating in 2000). During this time she concentrated on more transient manifestations of her research – creating works focused on the processes of breathing, the imagination, internal and external motion and memory. She addressed the performative aspects of her practice by using still photography and DVD.
She completed her PhD in Fine Art in 2006 (Trahere; the sense of unease in making a mark; the practice of drawing and the practice of thinking. Stackhouse. Dundee. 2006). Her research used drawing (and continues to do so) to question and explore our conceptions and understanding regarding the peculiar nature of our existence. Drawing was chosen as a research tool because of its unique relationship to thought and because it is one of the most direct ways of interacting with others. The practice element of the doctoral study culminated in two installations; a twenty eight day drawing for conversation (2004) and Exuviae (2004). The works functioned as a basis for conversations regarding creative process between Aileen and creative thinkers from the disciplines of philosophy, social anthropology, literature, history, architecture and design. The purpose of the drawings and conversations was to generate and identify ideological testing conditions which trigger the potential for inventive and unpredictable leaps of understanding. Her intention was, and is, to create an environment that is open to imaginative experimentation and permits a continual making and unmaking, a marking and erasing, a tracing and plotting of our perceptions and realities. Such an environment enables questioning that does not necessitate response.
For whom is understanding relevant? This question is founded in thinking before doing when the manner of thinking which takes place during and after doing is an inextricable element of the totality of making artworks. Aileen believes that the experience of making is not fully understood until some time after the art exists and that hindsight is a pivotal part of the imaginative process. Throughout the experience of creation moments of intense clarity occur -these ‘points of attention’ are embedded in the structure of thought and are fundamental to its development.
References: (amongst many others) Louise Bourgeois, Helene Cixous, Michel de Certeau, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Henri Michaux, Avis Newman, Fernando Pessoa, Paul Valery.
Cordelia holds a BA in English Literature (1994) from the University of York, and another BA in Fine Art (1997) from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Scotland. In 2001 she completed an MFA at Middlesex University, London, and in 2006 she started a PhD at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. Cordelia participated in various exhibitions, such as, Gneu Gallery (2008), Redchurch St, London; Drawing Undone (2007),VRC,DCA, Dundee; Bob and Roberta Smith Project (2006), Brick Lane Gallery, London; Domesticity (2006) Poole; M11 (2005), Bow, London; Chocolate Factory (2004),Hornsey, London; Be more like me (2003),Studio Voltaire, Clapham, London; M11, N16 (2002), Lewisham, London; Viva Picasso (2002), Bart Well’s Institute, Hackney, London; Quicksilver Place (2001), Wood Green, London; Watermark Club (2000), Shoreditch, London; Artpop (2000), Macbeth, Hoxton, London. Between 1997 and 1998 Cordelia worked as a Sessional Lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and at Grey’s School of Art, Aberdeen University. She worked as a Part-time Tutor at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Sussex University between 2002 and 2004; she was a Teaching Fellow at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art between between 2004 and 2007; and worked as a Part-time Lecturer at Moray College, University of the Highlands and Islands between 2006 and 2008.
Cordelia graduated as a painter, but soon found certain problems of scale, and figure/ ground relations were better dealt with by removing the frame and working directly onto the wall. Pragmatism led to using cut paper rather than paint for compositional exercises for temporary spaces. As this methodology developed Cordelia shifted her focus onto the possibilities of using collage as a technique for ‘drawing’ space. She has been working with this method for 6 years. She is in the final year of her doctorate researching the implications for practitioners of the theoretical identification of the formless drawing.
The idea of the corrupt drawing begins with the identification of collage as a corrupt technique. Collage, as in any work using found objects, deals with loose narratives, associations which do not always obey a specified intent. The found object brings with it personal and possibly sentimental associations, historical, cultural and formal narratives. Collage does not a use a primary medium, but elements that are already synthesized. The material has a production value that is not developed by the artist and there are political, sociological and economic implications that accompany it.
Collage is a compositional technique that works the process of drawing in reverse. It begins with a synthesized image which is then cut up to disengage signifying elements from their context. In the making of collage line is found not created; a backwards path from plane to line to point, as in pixel, is traced. The cut line is not emergent. It is a definitive division of planes. The point or pixel on the photographic print is not zero, but represents a unit: one. Scissors, as a tool that cuts, sets the body at a distance. They do not invite an intimate relation.
Collage disrupts and scatters the single viewpoint of photography. The pixelated surface maintains a democracy of focus and outline, but in discarding its original intent it can no longer make the same sense.
Billboard posters of advertising imagery represent more often than not expanses of pink flesh, swathes of cascading hair with indeterminate backgrounds or generic landscape. The ugliness of these images, these objects, other than the easily deconstructed message of consumerism with all the unsavoury power relations implied, is in the pretence of the explicit. Sex, sensuality, and seduction of the senses are all used in the sales pitch, but in reality are absent from these pictures. An aesthetic that is based on a logic of likeness, refracted countless times, is in fact one of unlike, unlike, unlike.
This choice of methodology and material allows the expression of self to be subsumed by formal considerations and therefore opens a dialectic with process led drawing ideologies.