The Third Trace – drawing without marks or surfaces

Lucia (Luby) Cunningham

My research starts with a walk across fields, through woodland and the built environment. Walking informs my drawing practice providing an opportunity to observe and engage with the world around me. The landscapes I walk contain traces made by objects. Within the context of this research, objects are understood as any ‘thing’ whether living, material or conceptual. The research takes the standpoint that one of the ways in which objects matter is through their encounters with each other and with us. Objects reveal themselves through traces or can vanish without trace. In this research a mark is the evidence of trace either onto or into a surface. Although I remain interested in the above consideration my main focus is towards traces that do not leave a mark – The Third Trace. Therefore, this research investigates three types of trace: Fig.1. traces as enduring marks such as an old toffee stained document, Fig. 2. traces as temporal, ephemeral and unenduring marks such as sediment moving on a muddy puddle and Fig.3. traces that do not leave a mark such as smoke in sunrays.  Drawing is highlighted herein as a process of study, a way of paying attention, affecting the way I see and think that extends to a concern for the objects that does not involve them being ‘captured’ by likeness or representation. Such ambiguities may open a new field of drawing research exploring new ways of looking at what drawing is and its potential, further expanding the practice of drawing.

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