Rossetti 5. 2013


Rossetti Encounter 5 Animation (youtube) (vimeo) (3 minute extract)

Rossetti Encounter 5 Animation (6 minutes 46 seconds)

Rossetti Encounter 5 Installation


This hand drawn animation traces in layers, the process of evidencing my in-situ observation of the Rossetti Self Portrait in the Print Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Using nearly two thousand drawings, the process of making this animation, much like the memory of an event, parallels the saccades of the eye, layered in time to create the piece.


Installation within a windowless space recalls the Print Room space at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The anticipatory nature of drawing, the core concern of the animation, is amplified by projection from above onto a sheet of white paper placed on a matt black desk measuring approximately 110 cm x 90 cm. The horizontal presentation of the animation is informed by viewing the Rossetti Self Portrait in the museum Print Room. The projector, speakers, and media player are supported by a bespoke frame attached by slim metal rods to a ceiling brace. The animation is looped to repeat with the animation audio filling the installation space with the sound of the museum and of drawing.


In his examination of the nature of modern attention writer and art critic Jonathon Crary describes the reconfiguration of vision at the turn of the nineteenth century as tending towards models that stress the, “…dynamic, temporal, and composite…” (Crary 1999, p.148). Contemporary theories continue to emphasize this instability. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida for example, understood drawing to be, “…an act deep-seated in memory and anticipation…” (Derrida, 1993. p.49) The anticipatory nature of drawing is the core concern of this animation and is the culmination of theoretical and practical knowledge acquired over the past two years.

My encounter with the Rossetti self portrait at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery was the catalyst for a publication: Ali. C. (2013) Trace [online] in TRACEY Drawing and Visualisation Research Journaldrawing in-situ


Crary, J. (1999) Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London. The MIT Press

Derrida, J. (1993) Memoirs of the Blind The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins. Translated by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Chicago, London. The University of Chicago Press