Drawing, Well-being and the Exploration of Everyday Place (Book)

228 Sketches of Clifton Street

Over 200 observational drawings created every day from the same window during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, revealing life in an ordinary English street in extraordinary times. A visual record and a unique meditation on place, nature, community, well-being, and the value of mindfully appreciating them all through drawing. 174 b&w, 48 col. illus.


Over 200 observational drawings created every day from the same window reveal life in an ordinary English street in extraordinary times.

This visual record and accompanying prose is a unique meditation on place, nature, community, time and mental well-being. Through this qualitative work we gain insight into the individual and collective experience and place-specific impacts of the pandemic, as opposed to the quantitative statistics of mortality and infection rates that characterise daily media soundbites and scientific discourse surrounding lockdown.

Five themes are central to the drawings, highlighting the environmental and social factors influencing daily life, and how these can be perceived and recorded via observational drawing: ‘framing space’ foregrounds the importance of widows as an interface between interior and exterior worlds; ‘observing nature and the built environment’ celebrates the street and garden as sites of human-nature relations that support well-being; ‘watching people’ focusses on the activities typify living under lockdown including isolation, socially distanced interactions and working from home; ‘drawing’ reflects on the multiple professional and personal benefits of drawing; and mindful awareness is discussed throughout, affirming the value of appreciating everyday life through drawing practice.

Dr Nicole Porter was born in Melbourne, Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne in architecture and landscape architecture. She lived and worked in Nottingham UK (2011 - 2022) before being appointed as Professor and Chair of Multi-Disciplinary Design at the University of Utah.

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