Phil Sawdon

United Kingdom (residence) °1955
research interests: drawing, drawing research

Honorary Fellow: Loughborough University School of the Arts, UK.

Co-editor: Drawing In (Bloomsbury) and Stimulus Respond 

Collaborations: humhyphenhum and Marshall & Sawdon

Personal Blog 



research expositions (collaborated)

  • open exposition comments (3)
  • open exposition comments (0)
  • open exposition comments (0)


Exposition: Alpha (01/01/2014) by Juliet MacDonald
Phil Sawdon 26/05/2014 at 14:30

I/We have been invited by an editor of JAR to contribute various ‘opening statements’ as part of the journal’s aim to share part of the peer review process and to facilitate a possible broader discussion within the research community (the ACADEMY?). In effect I am a peer reviewer who has lost a vowel, gained a hyphen and is now reordered as a pre-reviewer and validator and I wonder to what end? I am sceptical however I am a supporter of JAR. I am engaged in monkey business. My statement is published as personal comment. It comprises ‘just a few words’.

In the guise of the various meanings pertaining to statements perhaps it is only fair to confess an interest in this particular exposition as the co-supervisor of the PhD thesis (MacDonald, 2010) at (in the words of MacDonald) whose tail end you will find Alpha [the chimpanzee].

Alpha [A REPORT TO AN ACADEMY] is a four year old ‘itchy sore’, and a ‘scab that refuses to heal’. The exposition is ethically aware and not overtly mischief making but it is engaged with monkey business and it acknowledges the ‘disruptive potential’ of Alpha’s drawings.

The author sees herself as a drawing animal. Alpha was a chimpanzee.

Alpha the exposition is of artistic and intellectual interest to researchers in the field of contemporary fine art drawing.  It is academic, scholarly and engagingly accessible. Alpha (the exposition or the chimpanzee?) clearly articulates, narrates and demonstrates the ‘artistic’ tests and methods that were/are used to investigate the main research questions and in doing so the author provides a methodological framework through practical strategies (‘actions and practices’) for others to possibly adapt and or adopt albeit in the authors words retrospectively.

Le singe est sur la branche et la souris est sous la table …