manifest international drawing annual 2007 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Dawn Gavin
Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland (College Park),
Assistant Professor

page 56

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Drawing as an immediate and transitive action, facilitates the visual expression of space, time and experience. Against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated imaging technology, and an expanded use of hybrid media in the arts, the activity of drawing assumes a dynamic and shifting position between centrality and the margins. It is from this unique tension of the understood and the emerging, the learned versus the instinctual, that drawing becomes possibility within contemporary practice. While I work in a variety of media, from paper works, to installation to digital video, the extant potential of drawing informs all of my working processes. This affords me the ability to not only migrate freely between these differing approaches, but has allowed them to inform and change one another.

To this end, I construct uncertain terrains and cartographic landscapes that exist precariously at the threshold between the visible and the invisible, simultaneously lost and at once found. I am interested in what it is to occupy a space between places, and in turn what it is to then negotiate this alternative positioning. My interest in maps and related documents belies a long-term preoccupation with boundaries; zones of demarcation (both real and imagined) that constitute the perceived edges of the self and the formation of identity.

Inherent within the construction of a map are the illusions of both veracity and stasis. This intrinsic distortion conceals an alternative that is ambiguous and constantly shifting. In turn, we are never exactly where we believe ourselves to be. In the same way that there exists a discrepancy between the map and what it seeks to represent, the visual outcomes of my inquiry create an interstice of difference, between the subject and the object. Connection and disconnection alike are held in mutual tension, across a flat traversal plane of fluid associations.


born: 1968, Bellshill, Scotland (U.K.)


Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, MSc Electronic Imaging, 2006
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, MFA Fine Art, 1992
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, BA (Hons) First Class, Drawing and Painting, 1991

selected publications

'Digital VD', Hungry Dog Press, 2007

selected solo or two-person exhibits

West Gallery: 'zero/point/position', Texas Woman?s University, Denton, TX, 2005
Biggin Gallery: '32.62N/-85.48W', Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 2005
McLean County Arts Center: 'WATER RESISTING', Bloomington, IL, 2000
Dundee Contemporary Arts Visual Research Centre: 'Black and White', Dundee, Scotland, 1999

selected group shows

'Ethnography of No Place', Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Towson, MD, 2008
'Digital VD: Viral Video Art', The Crane Art Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
'You are Here: Maps Redefined by Contemporary Mid-Atlantic Artists'
Ellipse Art Center, Arlington, VA, 2007
'Obsessive Aethetics', Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD, 2007

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