Understanding the Senses
activity will explore how we understand‘the senses’, and the complex relationship
between vision, sound and touch.A
series of short drawing tasks will get you thinking about your relationship to
sight and how you visually engage with objects and images.
We have two brains: a left and a right. Your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words. Your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, composed of‘whole things.’
Most activities require both sides of our brains, but a few activities require mainly one side without interference from the other. Drawing is one of these activities.
Oddly enough,“learning to draw”means learning to make a mental shift from Left brain to Right brain. Often when we try to draw something our brain guesses at what we are looking at, as our memory stores images.
The drawing activities help you to learn to“turn off”the dominant left brain and“turn on”your non-dominant right brain. It will force a cognitive shift and suppress the left brain completely.
The tasks will subtly change the relationship between your eye (when you view the object), your brain (when it processes the image), and your hand (in trying to represent what you see in front of you).
Take a look at the Experimental Drawing Tasks there are a number of tasks which will test your relationship to sight and how you visually engage with objects and images. The activities include making a drawing with your eyes closed; drawing without removing the pencil from the paper; description drawing; drawing with your “wrong” hand; recording the details. Each of these tasks will challenge how your brain thinks it should be interpreting the object you look at. Don’t worry whether your drawings are entirely ‘accurate’ or ‘good’ – that’s not the aim of the task. Experimental drawing can produce some interesting and unexpected results.
Understanding how neurological and biological vision works is an important aspect of beginning to understand how visual stimuli are interpreted. Art History and Visual Studies is concerned with how society engages with visual culture.
You might want to take a look at another online resource: Engaging with Visual Culture
For more information on studying Art History and Visual Studies, visit the department’s webpage.