A few weeks ago N/A space Brunswick East in association with Collapse Collective was lucky enough to host one of Robbie Karmel’s drawing experiments. Robbie Karmel is currently finishing his Masters of Fine Art by Research through the College of Fine Art, Sydney focusing on the use of alternative perceptions of visual and haptic sensations to inform classical subjects within drawing. Most often, but not restricted to, the body. After appearing at the You Are Here festival in March, Robbie was coaxed down to the southern lands in order to bring his interactive drawing exercises to those who couldn’t make it north. The mini residency took the form of a single day in the N/A studio’s where Robbie was set up with tables and a captive audience, including international guests Sipat Lawin, intent on being a part of his research. Robbie used the residency to trial new and showcase different methods of image collecting he had been using with participants asked to either take part as a couple or individually. Couples sat opposite each other and asked to, without looking at their paper or pencil, replicate a drawing Robbie would be tracing on their counterparts face. Individuals would be asked to lye on a makeshift double table, and recreate the tracing of their own face, again without visual feedback from where their pencil was on the paper was at any given point during the exercise.
Alternatively Individuals sat on a chair opposite paper attached to a wall and were asked to perceive Robbie’s tracing of their faces. Results varied from recognisable faces through to abstract line work working its way across the page. Each was beautiful and interesting in its own unique way. Robbie says ‘It’s been a really interesting series of works, and is more about the tactile and proprioceptive experience of the participant than the drawings produced.’ A special thank you to Robbie Karmel for gifting us with his presence, Sarah for initiating the event, N/A space for the use of its studio’s and time and everyone who made it along to the event.