Murdoch's, Galveston


The air is cooler now in Galveston, there are clouds in the sky and the seabirds are not so bothered by swimmers and surfers in their territory. We even had rain the other day, hard, even torrential, somebody said we caught the tail end of a tropical storm. Plenty of  people  do still flock to the beaches however, and cycling along the seawall at the weekend is a good exercise in tactical maneuvering!

I go often  to Murdoch’s where I sit with a glass of wine watching the sunset. It is an old bathhouse – one of Galveston’s most historic locations – dating to the late 18oo’s when it rented bathing suits and provided showers for the Island visitors. It was constructed of wood and without the protection of the seawall it was destroyed in the 1900 storm. It has been rebuilt many times since then after being destroyed by the storms – the last to hit it was Hurricane Ike in 2008 – but as you can see below it always rises phoenix-like  from the debris!. You can find more information about Galveston here.

Murdoch's, Galveston


I am writing about drawing in terms of the Drawing Women’s Cancer  project  and below is an extract from a very tentative draft

‘The conviction of wholeness is the product of certain kinds of imaginative – that is visualising or pictorialising – activity’ Fernandez

I am borrowing James W. Fernandez’ concept of the ‘argument of images’, to offer a challenge to a dependence on narrative in terms of the verbal or written form as the pre-eminent structure of meaning. Although I do want to make clear at the outset that such a challenge does not deny narrative itself as indeed the powerful ‘magnet and a bridge, attracting and uniting diverse fields of learning’ that Charon describes, my point here is that I conceive of  narrative as profoundly inclusive in nature, and therefore both writing and imagery can be understood as equal in terms of their capacity for generating dialogue, and indeed this is a dialogic rather than dialectic relationship that I am advocating here between creative practice, which is inherently subjective, and scientific intervention which must necessarily be based on a positivist approach. Furthermore, and in terms of potential public impact, drawings produced throughout the project become agents, or Deleuzean ‘Bodies Without Organs’, between the objective, scientific concept of disease, and the more subjective experience of illness. The fugitive, paradoxical, ephemeral yet omnipotent BWO is described by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus as,  ‘opposed not to organs but to that organisation of organs that is called the organism…you can never reach the Body Without Organs , you can’t reach it, you are forever attaining it…It is not at all a notion or a concept but a practice, a set of practices’.

More notes soon….

About Jac Saorsa

I am an independent visual artist, writer and researcher in philosophy and contemporary art practice, primarily in the field of Medical Humanities. I am Director of The Broadway Drawing School in Cardiff, UK. I hold a PhD in Fine Art and a PhD in Creative Writing.
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