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Symposium, Attention : Detail

Symposium as part of the Summer Lodge

3rd July 2015


Martin Lewis (Research Student, NTU)

I like the word attention, it crops up a lot in my practice, indeed one could say this is what my practice is, attending through the agency of drawing. At first sight one might also state that my practice involves detail, attending to each small individual feature of what is being experienced. However when attention is given to the etymology of detail, de > to separate, tailler >to cut, it takes on a different hue. Detail now becomes as a biopsy taken from the body in order to examine it more closely. This is not what I do at all, cutting and separating. So if not detail, what?

Emma Belli (Theater Designer)

A Theatre Designer is responsible for everything visual in a performance. Detail is taken directly from the source material (written, musical or movement) backed up with research of social, art and political history; giving depth and nuance to the piece. Designers build intricate scale models and produce technical drawings. The models help to plan, construct and visualize the space and how it transforms. They are a seductive tool in describing the aesthetic of the production. Figures in the model, explore the relationships between the settings, their ergonomitry, spatial dynamics and the focus of the audience. The models and drawings become the focal point of reference for every department within the production. The designer then heads all visual departments to realisation at full scale.

Andrew Bracey (Sr. Lecturer University of Lincoln)

For several years I was a projectionist and this time has had a major impact on how I look and think as an artist. The projectionist has a unique and rather strange way of viewing films. As the end of the reel approaches the projectionist forensically examines the film, keeping a watchful eye out for the cue-dots. These tiny, round scratches or holes appear in the right hand corner and tell the projectionist that they must start the motor of the machine and get ready for the ‘changeover’. As they only appear for one-sixth of a second, there is an enormous amount of attention focused on this point. Time slows down and the sense of heightened awareness overcomes the projectionist, this is how I feel in front of a piece of art that really ‘works’.

Hannah Lockwood (BA (hons) Student, NTU)

The unseen and overlooked in everyday life and our surroundings, these are the influences that become starting points into research and work. Remnants of a past history in objects, cracks, fractures, gaps, rips and stains. Every object has a history and paying attention to this begins to tell a story. Photographing these blemishes and marks on objects and surfaces fuel installation and sculptural works that respond to these marks. Bringing them to the forefront of peoples attention, turning them into intricate and labor intensive pieces.

Phil Cosker (Novelist)

I write across a number of genres:

Novels;      Screenplays;       Libretti;     Short stories;     Journalism.

Each has a different demand for detail.   I shall deal with the novel.

I assume a contract of imagination with the reader. Sitting at my table I have choices: to imagine the reader reading; to ignore the reader reading; to believe in the integrity of my words. This has implications for detail: Always it’s all at the same time. Always a challenge. A matter of fine judgement. A matter of making space for the reader to commit to imagination. A matter of meaning.  And making is all.

Christine Stevens (Artist and Gestalt Therapist)

Combe Martin, Devon, 6 June  3.17pm

The sun warms my skin as a sudden gust off the sea flicks my hair into my mouth and riffles my clothing.  Eyes closed, I hear the modulating murmur of traffic on the road across the valley, winding down to the narrow beach.  From the trees below me come trilling melodic fragments of birdsongs.  A rook caws harshly.  The high sweet calls of children hang in the air.  A car door closes.  The soft susurration of the breaking waves mingles with the soughing in the breeze of the long grasses and flowering nettles beside my slatted bench on the cliffside.

Danica Maier (Sr. Lecturer NTU)

Subtle slippages between the expected, minor moments found in the comings and goings of everyday life, discovered only through close observation, looking again. Attention and curiosity is needed to uncover these moments.  Only through investing time and truly looking are details revealed.

Ashely Gallant (Curator, The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln)

Ashley will approach the subject of attention : detail from a museological standpoint. Putting forward the problems and opportunities that the concentrated attention to the detail of the object has on presenting a curated exhibition as a practice. How does attention and detail relate to the audiences relationship to the museum as an institution.