Presence: Drawing Symposium 2021

26mar9:30 am5:00 pmPresence: Drawing Symposium 2021

Event Details

Presence: Drawing Symposium 2021

Friday 26 March

Cell Block Theatre / Online
$150 In Person (including lunch and refreshments) / $50 Online

Presented by the National Centre for Drawing

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In this time of forced introversion and on-line communication, The National Centre for Drawing’s 2021 Drawing symposium delves into the question of what Drawing is and does now, how it connects us to the present and makes us present in the world.
Eight very different artists from all over the world will talk to you and each other about the role of drawing in their practice and the drawings that inspire them.

Hosted in the National Art School’s historic Cell Block Theatre, you are invited to attend either online or in person. If you are not in Sydney there will be online options for you to join the conversation.


Gerry Davies (UK), Maria Kontis (VIC), Anita Fricek (Austria), Margaret Roberts (NSW), Peter Bonner (USA), Aida Tomescu (NSW), James Nguyen (VIC), Lucienne Rickard (TAS)


We hope that the unusual events of 2020 will enable us to link more closely with artists across the globe and in this context, which generates a strange disjunction between physical presence and on-line connection, the symposium will consider what drawing has to offer the simple idea of being present.

Drawing is powerfully and particularly about presence. The symposium will consider ways that drawing can conjure, evoke, embody and restore this quality of actualisation in both material and non-material, real and virtual modes of being. Emerging from an increasing need to occupy digital environments, the symposium encourages conversations about what this means in the context of drawing.

Presence refers to the state of existence, while also suggesting what is not visible, but rather sensed. The symposium invites discussion on the various ways drawing can elicit presence; from the graphic mark as record/trace to durational, performative and spatial manifestations.

Given the theme and the climate, the symposium will navigate physical and on-line participation.

National Centre for Drawing

The National Centre for Drawing at the National Art School promotes and nurtures practice, research and scholarship in drawing in all of its manifestations. Positioned at the core of an educational institution and cultural precinct, it enables a range of audiences to engage more deeply with drawing. Through the practice of drawing, curatorial projects, exhibitions, publications, conferences, lectures and other special events, it nurtures a curiosity around drawing that is grounded in precedent but extends towards the unknown.



(Friday) 9:30 am - 5:00 pm


National Art School

Forbes Street

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