The Element of Drawing, 1980-2002

My mission to reinvent drawing evolved through the 1970s from seeing Beuys’s idea “everyone is an artist”(1) in a new light. Beuys was clear in saying everyone’s creative potential is within their own context, not necessarily within the conventions of the art world. The new light gained focus in 1979 from Rhoda Kellog’s idea(2) that all children draw as part of their personality development. If all children are artists and all children grow up, it seemed to follow that virtually everyone is or has been an artist in a literal sense: beyond what Beuys meant. So why is it that one’s identity as an artist survives the transformation from childhood into adulthood in so few cases? And what does this question tell us about human consciousness?

These questions drove my art and my educational interests in tandem for three decades, beginning in 1979, igniting in me the idea of art as a process of enquiry. My processes of enquiry are represented by the several series of drawings in this section.  They are presented in chronological sequence, beginning with The Act of Drawing in which children’s scribble is explored through performance, and progressing through explorations of observation, consciousness of observation, and eventually consciousness itself as the subject of my art.

 1. Joseph Beuys expressed his ideas of universal human creativity and social sculpture on many occasions, but also in conversations with TEJ in Edinburgh in 1973Beograd  in 1974, London in 1976, and in Kassel in 1977.

2. Rhoda Kellog, Analyzing Children’s Art, Mayfield, 1969.  

Copyright © Timothy Emlyn Jones 2020