Tag Archives: drawing

Underground Poetry #artontheunderground

tube2flight - #artontheunderground - underground poetry

tube2flight – #artontheunderground – underground poetry

a combined version (This is Oxterly, audio-video, 2:59 min) at: https://vimeo.com/350718770


Title of the work:

Underground poetry, take a pen, move on the paper from left to right back and force while moving, at station make circles till moving again, change the pen, each second station rotate the paper continue till your final destination

Words embedded: names of the underground stations (some time after Green Park till Heathrow Terminal, the Piccadilly line)

This work was inspired by my visit to Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner, London, and his ‘Poetics of Flight’ drawing made during his multiple flights. It is not a copying, as Murillo applied quite some different approaches and his embedded words do have a different connotations.



I found it absolutely fascinating how through travel motion, marks can be made in a constrained space through double physical movement: the underground (a linear trajectory) and my hand (small moves rotating the page)

I could envision this as a topology, or as mapping of time spent. A repetition in multiple underground rides, on bus? on train? 

thinking about communication

if this is site-specific work, would it not be good to share if site-specific? I.e. to share with London underground? Quick searching revealed that they actually have a social media presence for ‘Art on the Underground’

possible links to social media:

possible handles:

  • #ArtontheUnderground@aotulondon@transportforlondon
  • #stefanschaffeld@stefanschaffeldart#undergroundpoetry



An amended version that I submitted for edge-zine no.8 ‘Time’:



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Drawing from the past – British Museum

How it feels when one gets into the sanctuary  the British Museum, the drawing and print room on the 4th floor, behind doors, accessible only by appointment, with a collection of around 2.5 Mio items.

Drawing is research,

Drawing is thinking,

Drawing is seeking,

Drawing is exploring.

We were guided by the British Museum Project Officer for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation Sarah Jaffray. She mentioned how Bridget Riley found the collection during her time at Goldsmith tremendously helpful in material experiemtation. She selected a few drawings and prints from a wide range of period incl a limited of 10 book of loose sheets of etchings by Henry Moore (some of his later works) that showed how Moore was discovering and responding to an elephant skull through drawing, with a variety of line markings.

I used the hairline fineness of line to suggest space and mystery – Henry Moore

She also showed drawings from Michelangelo himself and from an unknown artist ‘after Michelangelo’, copying his ‘style’. Interesting to hear about the term ‚pentiment‘ (from Italian pentimento, or english ‘to repent / to regret’): the visible trace of the artist‘s search through drawing, an evidence, an index. Absent when someone is copying a work (as the line would be more intentional, conscious, less searching). I  guess that what at assessment would be rather looked at.

At the early times of paper, paper was precious, making artist to use both sides of a sheet (recto and verso). Also to use any sheet to the very limits, making e.g. Michelangelo to add (to collage) another piece of paper to a pre-drawn one that was not large enough, the drawing extends and crosses the edges of paper in that case (see 1860,0616.2.3)

The second part of the visit was drawing and be inspired by the selected works. Here, my drawings that were informed by more than the maker of the drawing. Why am I reluctant ‘just’ to copy things? Always want to have my own twist on it. Not sure, if this supports or restricts my learning.

After Michelangelo / informed by Moore’s line approach i

Looked at: no. 1998,0214.6

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After 'unknown after Michelangelo'


=> trying to apply the drawing ‚technique‘ of Henry Moore from his limited etching book. 

After Deacon / informed by my MRI project

Looked at: no 2006,0930.9

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After Richard Deacon

After Dürer / gestural response

Looked at: no. SL,5218.29

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After Albrecht Dürer


Thanks to Joanne and the rest of the group for getting together, and also to spend some time afterwards to reflect and talk.

I went back in the afternoon to look at the current exhibition “Rembrandt – thinking on paper” ( a marvellous title) and “The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard artists’ postcards from 1960 to now“. The first one showing Rembrandt quite experimental approach to etching with a back and force approach  by adding and amending the plates (see featured image), the second showing the way smaller pieces can act as artwork, as a series, a collection, or an archive. Reminding me also of the small ‘paper slides’ we used at the SLBI for microscoping plant species. And also the use of text is more pronounced in artist cards that e.g. in paintings.


  • Overall, it was a short but excellent time and place to be, to connect to, and to response. The fact that one sees physical works made by the maker in its final and tactile stage is certainly impacting how I approach things. I don’t feel so inspired to draw for a longer time after a screen image. Compared to online to book viewing it adds a certain aura that made me to slow down, to focus more, and to be more present.
  • It was fun just to draw and to respond, to take the time to play with different 
  • The versatility and diversity of drawn ideas and things through pencil, chalk, etching, engraving, collaging is quite impressive, and it opens up more focused, close up explorations of material its that often doesn’t requires lot of space.
  • I find it a good to have study visits to study rooms as this one. As mentioned in my study weekend, it is the set of conditions that can propel creativity and visual research. 
  • Compared to the afternoon visit to the exhibition, I liked the intimacy and proximity in the study room.




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Visibility – on OCA sites

Today, I received an email from OCA office saying that one of my works (from a sketchbook that was in display at Showcase at oxotowerwharf (24-28 Oct 2018) has been chosen as featured images for the OCA website (main title) and their social channels. It made me very proud and I felt honoured . What made me aware that exposure is a big part of being an artist – and to be perceived as one .

After my public art intervention two days ago , I feel – and just hope – that this is one way forward to more exposure. Certainly a question to myself how, how much time and efforts, and what I want to move forward with. Also perhaps time to map out what I am doing as part of coursework meets gallery standards, and how much I want to continue with experimenting around but not at all being something to show. The selected work by OCA made me also aware that some of my sketchbooks works are actually of better ‘quality’ than larger scale drawings or paintings. 

Screenshots of OCA website and social channels:


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Visit: Drawing Room ‘From the Inside Out’

My visit to DrawingRoom, London was suggested by fellow students who will attend a study visit on Nov. 3rd. I was excited to go and see that place and how artist explore the theme of the current exhibition was ‘From the Inside Out‘ (20 Sep – 11 Nov 2018). From the curator’s point of view it would be considered as a female and feminine approach to topics of vulnerability that often seem to be rather a tabu. interesting to note that the curators don’t walk about ‘feminist’ position, what shows me an increasing contemporary sensibility of a difference between feminist and feminine. The latter possibly, and considering the personal approach taken by the artists in this show, a more intimate and less political positioning. A curators’ perspective – but also resonating with my sensation on site.

‘the exhibition explores the capacity of drawing to convey the complexity and diversity of female” experience’ – Exhibition text

I knew one artist, Emma Talbot, who wrote an insightful article about her journey and struggle with and through painting (Talbot, 2017). One other artist Athena Papadopoulos was suggested to me by Catherine. The other two were new to me: Nilbar Güreş and Marie Jacotey.

In preparation of this visit I was positively surprised to see how the gallery was publishing further resources on their website: Besides the Exhibition guide also  Reading lists (selective books or articles chosen by the exhibiting artists or curators)

The exhibition was located in one room and with 17 pieces on display, on four walls, one piece on the floor and two on a plinth, and one suspended from the ceiling. Through this variety the room was activated, but not too full. I very much appreciated the reduced number of works, allowing me to spend more time with the works. Attached to this room, was a reading room with a table and book shelfs around. One shelf held a selection of books from the reading lists (other books were linked to amazon items)

Sketching on site FIg. 2: Sketching on site

I was intrigued by the multiplicity of layers and materiality alongside the expansion in space of the work of Athena Papadopoulos, especially her work Even Deader than Dead Grapevine, 2018 . With a connotation of a drape and with a strong presence. Layers of text, letter and words, embedded in thr work, used materials e.g. antlers with deferred meaning. Altogether, a work that kept my attention and I studied it more in detail through sketching.

Fig. 1: Sketching on siteThe other work that kept my attention was Frozen Zebra, 2017 of Nilbar Güres. A mesmerizing alternative pattern of black and white stripes making me dizzy when looking too closely at it. She stated that her work is related to her home country Turkey and the connection to a queer community. Fragments of human shapes, concealing full disclosure, only partly visible – a reflection on how she experienced life. 

The works by Emma Talbot are in more ‘illustrative’ narrative, at times amended with symbolic meaning. In a more sketchy way, Marie Jacotey is expressing her feelings and sensation of her living a female life with menstruation, pain, and feeling of death ideas. Her works reminded me often of diary sketches. 

Looking across the common theme of female expressions that according to the curators are often hidden or not expressed openly, I can understand the intention of the exhibition of getting things out, or as a quote by Helen Cixous mentioned in the joined text:

‘Woman must write herself …must put herself into the text’ – Helen Cixous

In that sense, I got a feeling of familiarity, resonating partly with what I experience in my work as art therapist. Inner mental images and partly visualized archetypes relating to C.G. Jung gave the exhibition a sense of raw expression. For me good to see how artists, all four are MA graduates, do express themselves in a more direct and at times symbolic manner. I will bookmark them for reference, useful to talk about in my art therapy practice as well. 

Overall, I left with a mixed sensation – between my curiosity of exploring painting and drawing through materiality, and a concern of being overly symbolic and illustrative. Wondering how my fellow students do respond to the exhibition at the study visit.


  • Featured Image: Installation view with my reflection in the work Gloria in excelcis, 2018 of Marie Jacotey, photograph SJSchaffeld
  • Fig. 1: Sketchbook page, SJSchaffeld


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Part One – Extended Space Gesture: 6 days – 5m

Featured video: made from four long still-images – horizontal – back and forth motion, moving perception


After the first part of my extended project of body movement (12 days) I decided to adjust my approach without a clear separation of images per day. Instead to let my markings of the previous day inform my new gestural markings and body movement. Seeing how it will change my movement in space and my gestural response. I installed the paper roll at my wooden studio wall, at the top the already drawn parts fixed with bullclamps, and letting the full roll drop to the floor (gravity stretching the surface).

I kept 2 mins drawing time as before, although over time my embodied response to earlier marks extended my interrogation and eventually ended up with 3 mins – I just wanted to explore more. Time as opportunity, but also as restriction.

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Part One – Extended Project Body Gesture: 12 days – 8m

12 days – 8 m – 12x2mins Spatial Gesture

a gestural slideshow:


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Project 1.1 – Ex 1.0: Smallest to largest reach

  • Project 1.1 – Ex 1.0: Smallest to largest reach
  • Project 1.1 – Ex 1.0: Smallest to largest reach
  • Project 1.1 – Ex 1.0: Smallest to largest reach
  • Project 1.1 – Ex 1.0: Smallest to largest reach

Project 1: Body gesture – Smallest to largest reach

The coursemateral relates to this exercise as a ‘series of warm up exercises or a meditation of sorts’. What made me think of actually using this exercise as a daily meditation exercise. It demands my presence and my awareness of the act of drawing, it is a physical as well as sensual exercise. Could this relate to a kind of choreographic activity in space and time?

To record my mark making is not new to as I already applied this as a ‘reflection tool’ during drawing 1 and my personal project – my blog post and a video recording of my assignment work.

Therefore I wanted to explore further my awareness of the following aspects:

  • my senses and my physical condition
  • space and time and my movement under those conditions
  • presence of my body and its relationship with the drawing surface and my drawing media
  • my consciousness (contemplative, anxious, exhausted, excited etc.)
  • being recorded, and possible impact on the way I draw
  • rythm and breath
  • quality of line

My tools and media:

– drawing paper, roll (width 70cm, 170 g/sqm)
– tracing paper, roll (width 70cm, 110 g/sqm)
– willow and compressed charcoal stick
– video camera and still camera, tripod
– daylight lamps (2x)
– Studio wall (plywood panels)


I decided to work at my studio wall, an installation og plywood panel attached to the wall. A system that I use for my art therapy practice (an introduction video for those who are interested in how I work, german language). It works quite well for my art practice as I tend to work either at the wall or on the floor. I like to slighty flexible tension of the wooden panels. To work at an easel feels at time quite restrictive for me (space and posture)

I will explore various options of seperated and combined drawings by:

  • Body restrictions: using my fingers only, plus my wrist, plus my lower arm, plus my upper arm/shoulder, right hand only, both hand, left hand only
  • Size of support


I am going to set up a double camera system, one looking sideways at my arm and body movement, and the other looking at my hand, charcoal, and surface. I will record audio to capture the sound of my mark makings and my own body ‘sounds’.

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