Stephen Farthing RA, Rootstein Hopkins Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts London, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Crossing The Line Conference in Dubai, UAE, at the American University in Dubai, in early November, 2011. The Conference is a joint project of AUD and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. In this brief interview, the artist gives us some initial thoughts on drawing and on his participation in Crossing The Line: Drawing in the Middle East - intersections of transdisciplinary practice and understanding
What is the role of drawing in your own art practice?
Stephen Farthing - I use drawing in two quite different ways, first to record, then to unravel problems, plan and strategize.
How do you see the role of drawing in your experience as an educator?
Stephen Farthing - In western culture the drawing class has I suspect been considered by most of its users part church, part gymnasium. During the latter half of the twentieth century most progressive western art schools replaced drawing with two new subjects , one was Art Theory and the other a craft related subject based on familiarizing students with the use of Lens/Scanner Based Technologies. Over time this shift in direction within the curriculum lead to a substantial decline in interest in things hand-made and personal, and it seems a surge in interest in Technological Interfaces and what I can best describe as Detached Randomness’s.