Workshop on Drawing and Weaving. Lines, Indexicality, and Transferring Knowledge in the Premodern World, organised by Jess Bailey and Corinne Mühlemann
Drawing and weaving are dependent on lines: lines of thread, lines of ink, lines of visual and material thinking through which forms are conceived and imaged. Both are artistic practices which oscillate between being used as an end in and of themselves and as a means to or as a material base to another act of creativity. They can both be indexes of another material object. The form which gives anew. Yet the product always retains a relationship with its model or source. Paper and cloth are also highly portable mediums. They can transverse vast amounts of space and time with relative ease: carried, folded, bound in albums, tucked away. They do the material work of transferring visual knowledge. Yet, these essential models and diagrams are often lost within the material record itself, leaving scholars to speculate about the lines of connection across a pre-modern world. Through the warp and weft of cloth and ink on receptive surfaces, the world is gridded. Lines of thread are used to mark out the divisions in a fresco wall. Paper is sequentially punctured so coloured chalk can leave the ghost of an image for the embroiderer’s needle. The natural grid of linen cloth inherent to its very material structure is utilized to transfer patterns for the production of stained glass windows and possibly within the fabric arts themselves. Paper and cloth do visual and material labour. Yet these two mediums are rarely considered together as they are both highly specialized areas of study. This symposium brings together a variety of emerging and established scholars to discuss the potential for intellectual cross fertilization within our shared attention to lines.