Rooted in practice-based drawing, my research examines ways in which Fine Art drawing might be usefully informed by strategies for conservation retouching of works of art on paper. The two fields are closely aligned with intersecting practices historically bound to both, yet this remains a critically under-explored area for research. Through engagement with conservation processes the aim of my investigation is therefore to uncover methodological intersections and differences between the two fields of practice as a source for investigation.
This enquiry is in part supported by the Charles Sims R. A. (1873-1928) archive held at Northumbria University, with drawings selected as a source from which to explore the research themes. The transdisciplinary reach of this project is explored through observation and participation in scheduled paper conservation workshops. Distilled through studio practice, evidence from these observations created a unique position from which to illuminate an area of drawing ultimately identified as interpolation. Transcription methods informed by conservation retouching theories and practices were utilised, and existing theoretic models for imitation and copy tested for relevance to conservation, with adaptions subsequently applied to drawing practice.
Whilst remaining grounded in Fine Art drawing, the findings of my research also contribute to the field of conservation an original point of reference for cross-disciplinary discourses concerning conservation and drawing practices. The contribution to knowledge for this enquiry also lies in distilling terms appropriate and distinct to this territory and its critical interpretation of interpolated drawing as drawing that is introduced to another aspect of itself. In addition, a modified three-part model of transcription drawing has emerged offering a framework with which to more clearly identify aspects of the research territory as enlightened by conservation, and a parallel model for conservation retouching of works of art on paper.