Drawing week

Drawing Relations: Self-portraiture, Portraiture, Non-Portraiture and Anti-Portraiture

This workshop will ask students to consider contemporary portraiture using a series of structured exercises and readings that examine the critical and nuanced relationships between artist, sitter and art object through the act of portraiture. 

You will be able to book tickets from 9:30am on Wednesday 29 January.


Lecturers: Julie Fragar and Carolyn Mckenzie-Craig

Location: NAS building 25 (small)

Students will consider how the act of representing a person, whether in drawing or other methods, involves the negotiation of complex intersubjective relations; including but not limited to relationships between artist and sitter, the sitter and the world, and the sitter and themselves. This draws on recent visual arts discourse on portraiture (or ‘anti-portraiture’) that considers how non-bodily and non-visual selves might be articulated, and how these representations might also be understood through the theoretical and art historical lens of portraiture.

Julie Fragar, The single bed or Cheers to Forty Years, 2017, oil on board, 160 x 120 cm

Day 1: Self-Portraiture: Face to Face

Self-Portrait project using a mirror. Emphasis on self as object and likeness.

Day 2: Portraiture – The Artist and Intimacy

Portrait project with sitter (one volunteer guest per student). Students make drawings from life (2 hours), take photographs for later development and work from memory in the afternoon. Emphasis on relationship between artist and sitter.

Day 3: Non-Portraiture – The Subject for Themselves

Figurative drawing project on the disconnected other. Emphasis on drawing subjects without identity known to the artist and who are not positioned for the benefit of the drawing.

Day 4: Anti-Portraiture – Non-Body Presence 

Studio-based self-directed project on any human subject that does not include any visual references to the sitter’s body.

Carolyn Craig , Bacterial Nervosa, Acidophilus bacteria, petrie dishes, sound, shelves, dimensions approx. 56 x 12 x 16cm, 2019

What to Bring:

Materials: Basic drawing materials (wet and dry media and pencils), Paper (experimental surfaces, as well as some quality drawing paper- 185 gsm or more, and a USB to download and print images taken with your phone or camera.  Students are also asked to invite a friend to model for them for two hours on day 2. If not able to arrange this, students can model for each other.

Julie Fragar is an Australian artist living and working in Brisbane. Her work explores the relationships between painterly and personal languages, both biographical and autobiographical. Fragar’s earlier paintings drew on her own life and environment as subject matter. More recently her work has turned to individual experiences of our major public institutions, including the court. Fragar has been exhibiting her paintings since the 1990s. Her paintings are composed as dense agglomerations of fragmented images, described as “not layers but many images knitted together in one go”. Fragar has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants and prizes, and has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. Her work is held major public collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of South Australia and numerous other public and private collections. Fragar is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Painting at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

Carolyn Craig is an artist who works within the graphic mediums. She holds a  PHD from the Queensland College of Art and teaches at the National Art School in Sydney.  Her work has been a finalist in prizes such as the Burnie, Freemantle, Silkcut, Clayton Utz, Churchie, Bangkok Drawing and Print Triennial and the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing.

Carolyn investigates how power is manifested in the gestural and language utterances of the body. Her material focus is in the intersection of indexical reprographic media and graphic drawing methodologies using traditional media in drawing and printmaking as well as new technologies in the digital arena. Of particular interest is the current JPEG Empire as manifest in an era of bio- internet discourse.


Annovi, Gian Maria. Pier Paolo Pasolini: performing authorship. Columbia, 2017

Berger, Harry. “Fictions of the Pose: Facing the Gaze of Early Modern

Portraiture.” Representations 46, no. 46 (1994): 87-120.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing (Ch.3), London: Penguin, 1972.

Borzello, Frances. Seeing Ourselves: Women’s Self-Portraits London:Thames and Hudson 2016.

Hall, James. The Self-Portrait : A Cultural History / James Hall. 2014

Maleuvre, Didier “Rembrandt , or the Portrait as Encounter” in Imaging Identity , ed. Melinda Hinkson, Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

Silverman, Hugh J. “Cézanne’s Mirror Stage.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40, no. 4 (1982): 369-79.