A drawing is an autobiographical record of one’s discovery of an event – seen, remembered or imagined.
where are we, during the act of drawing, in spirit? Where are you at such moments – moments which add up to so many, one might think of them as another life-time? Each pictorial tradition offers a different answer to this query. For instance, the European tradition, since the Renaissance, places the model over there, the draughtsman here, and the paper somewhere in between, within arms reach of the draughtsman, who observes the model and notes down what he has observed on the paper in front of him. The Chinese tradition arranges things differently. Calligraphy, the trace of things, is behind the model and the draughtsman has to search for it, looking through the model. On his paper he then repeats the gestures he has seen calligraphically. For the Paleolithic shaman, drawing inside a cave, it was different again. The model and the drawing surface were in the same place, calling to the draughtsman to come and meet them, and then trace, with his hand on the rock, their presence..
John Berger : Berger on Drawing. Edited by Jim Savage. Aghabullogue, Co. Cork, Eire: Occasional Press.