UWTSD's Swansea College of Art hosts Perspectives Symposium at the city’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery


University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Swansea College of Art hosted a successful Perspectives Symposium at the city’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery on Wednesday, November 16.

The symposium explored the relevance of drawing in contemporary practice, and brought together five contemporary artists to discuss the role of drawing in their artwork. The speakers included UWTSD Surface Pattern Design Lecturer Julia Griffiths-Jones, a textile artist who creates spatial drawings with wire; Jonathan Williams, an illustrator at UWTSD who uses drawing as a form of reportage; Fine Art lecturer Dr Catrin Webster, who employs drawing to trace journeys through the landscape using home-made books and an iPad tablet and UWTSD’s Professor Sue Williams, who combines elements of drawing in her large paintings - her sharp observation of people is conveyed through the directness of her lines. UWTSD Fine Art graduate Richard Monahan is the current artist in residence at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, and talked about his recent work. UWTSD Gwenllian Beynon held a special drawing and talking event in the Welsh language. 

The event culminated in a special Friends of the Glynn Vivian and UWTSD joint lecture by Professor Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor, University of Oxford on ‘Leonardo’s Drawings: Fantasy and Science.’

The current exhibition highlights Leonardo’s visions of nature in motion. He developed a remarkable vision of motion in continuous space and of the operation of dynamic force in Nature.  The lecture highlighted the way that Leonardo moved away from static modes of representation, using a wide variety of new visual techniques across the whole of his activities in art, science and technology. It also included actual animations of Leonardo’s drawings, and all the drawings in the exhibition.

UWTSD Fine Art lecturer Sarah Tombs said: “The afternoon of artist talks discussed why drawing is still relevant to art practice in the 21st century. Whether used as ‘reportage’, or with metal to draw in space, to iPad drawings made on the move, each artist discussed their practice. This was followed by a special evening talk by Professor Martin Kemp, one of the world’s experts on the work of Leonardo. This collaboration between UWTSD, Swansea College of Art and the Glynn Vivian art Gallery celebrated drawing in all its forms."

Professor Martin Kemp is Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University. He is considered one of the world's leading experts on the art of Leonardo da Vinci and visualisation in art and science. He has written and broadcast extensively on imagery in art and science from the Renaissance to the present day.

Leonardo da Vinci has been the subject of books written by him, including Leonardo (Oxford University Press 2004). Professor Kemp has published on imagery in the sciences of anatomy, natural history and optics, including The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale University Press).

Professor Kemp was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He was British Academy Wolfson Research Professor (1993-98). For more than 25 years he was based in Scotland (University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews). He has held visiting posts in Princeton, New York, North Carolina, Los Angeles and Montreal.