The Body Re-drawn

Jill Journeaux, John Burns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTRACEY: Drawing and Visualisation Research
    VolumeNone given
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Conference paper entitled ‘The Body Redrawn’ delivered September 12th 2012 as part of the proceedings of ‘Thinking Through Drawing 2012: Drawing in STEAM’ – an interdisciplinary symposium on drawing, cognition and education, held at Wimbledon College of Arts from 12-14th September 2012. The event was supported by the University of the Arts London, Loughborough University, TRACEY, and the Teachers College, Columbia University, Art and Art Education. There were 80 participants, from around the world, and from a range of disciplines across the STEM subjects and art and design. Attendance was by invitation and subject to peer review of the abstract.
    The theme of the symposium was – ‘How is drawing used within and between STEM disciplines? What is the relationship between drawing practices in the Arts and in STEM subjects? What is our current understanding of drawing, cognition and learning, and how is it contributing to curriculum development and instructional design in these areas?
    A paper of the same title is currently being peer reviewed for publication in TRACEY - the Journal of Drawing and Visualisation Research.
    A conference paper entitled ‘Redrawing the Body for Health” which considers the use of drawing and animation to assist in visualising recovery alongside the experience of invasive treatments and places Journeaux and Burns work in the context of other pertinent projects currently underway in the UK, has been accepted for The Fourth International conference on the Image, which will take place in Chicago on the 18th and 19th October 2013.
    Significance and originality:-
    The animation enabled Journeaux to find a way to voice her experience of chemotherapy, and to express this to others. Through the collaboration Journeaux found a format for articulating the inhabitation of her body over a period of time when it was the site of a struggle occurring at a cellular level. She was also able to point to the holistic needs of a patient and their capacity to visualise recovery.
    The collaboration enabled Burns to further explore approaches to visualising and drawing medical treatment from a patient’s perspective, and to work with the depiction of a visceral and psychological experience, which is rarely discussed but commonly experienced. In doing so he was able to ask questions about the processes and purposes of drawing for medical illustration. He was able to review 30 years experience as an illustrator alongside his own experiences of medical interventions as a patient himself, and Journeaux’s experience of treatment for cancer.
    The area of the visualisation of health and recovery by patients undergoing treatment for cancer, is by general consensus, under-researched and in need of attention. Medical practitioners attending the symposium endorsed the need for further work to be undertaken in this area and the need for artists, medical illustrators and doctors to work together to improve the patient voice and experience in the imaging of serious illness. In maintaining an emphasis on the visualisation of recovery, alongside the depiction of the experience of invasive treatment, Journeaux and Burns ask questions about the current limitations of medical illustration and its ownership by pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners, but not by patients. They also raise questions about the capacity of visual imaging to enable people who are seriously ill to visualise recovery and health, whilst undergoing debilitating treatments.
    Whilst there are many examples of illustrative artefacts, whether in still or moving image format, that are used in broader educational or information publications, this collaborative exercise looped into the circuit of expression that included the patient’s point of view as an integral element within the informative process.
    This paper is to be published in the journal TRACEY: Drawing and Visualisation Research - Drawing Knowledge issue by Loughborough University

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