Lisa Roberts blog


Google Doodle, animated dance

Filed under: DrawingMovement, animation, dance, drawing — Lisa @ 20:05

Yesterday’s Google Doodle was a beautiful animation. I was pretty busy and didn’t get a chance to find out anything about it. After asking friends I found out (THANK YOU ALL) that:

It was made by Ryan WoodWard to reflect the dance style of Martha Graham.

The Martha Graham Center site has lots of information.

The site Animated Google Doodle Honors 117th Birthday of Dancer Martha Graham is where you can download animation key frames.

Someone has put music to it.

Someone explains (in German) technical information about it.



Filed under: DrawingMovement, dance, drawing, writing — Lisa @ 06:19

Here I share lesson plans and reflections on my DRAWING MOVEMENT WORKSHOPS, acknowledge the sources of my methods and invite comments.

LESSONS and REFLECTIONS are published under a Creative Commons Share Alike license. This means that you are free to use and adapt the methods to your practice. However, in any publications, acknowledgement of this URL must be made in reference to these methods: By acknowledging this URL you automatically acknowledge my sources.

The theory behind my practice is that physical and biological forces shape us and our environment and that drawing movement can visualise body knowledge of these forces. This is ancient knowledge that is important to recover in this time of need to reconnect.

Absolute Dance, a primal form created by Rudolf von Laban, inspires my preference for body rhythm as the catalyst for drawing.

[Laban] set out from the idea that we should be able to perceive rhythm not only through our ears; that our eyes should be just as capable of perceiving it. When we see the waves of the sea from afar, so that we cannot hear their sounds, we yet fully take in their rhythm. Why should we not have the same delight, he argued, from seeing a dancer? Why should not the dance, like a moving sculpture, be sufficient in itself? It was on these theories that he based the Absolute Dance (Gertrud Bodenwiesser, The New Dance, pp.69-70).



A5 recycled paper sheets (clipped to A5 wooden drawing boards) and clutch pencils (with large soft leads) are made available to workshop participants.


Enter the space

Walk through the space, aware of your breath as you consciously focus on leaving behind the physical experience of getting here (by foot, bike, car or public transport) (Ref. Christine McMillan, 2008).

What changes do you note in your breathing?

Now imaginatively enter and explore a wide white page that is bound within the 3 dimensions of this place – its length, breadth and height.

Focus on your feet connecting to the ground through the weight of your whole body.

Imagine marking the ground with inky feet, drawing a scale that ranges between extremely light and heavy.

Use other body parts to draw lines of different weight through all the dimensions of your imagined 3D page.

Think of your lines as drawing the 4th dimension of time.

Gradually find stillness. Close your eyes. Breathe. Imagine yourself now within a new clear space. You have moved through the imagined white page and into the reality of the present. Open your eyes.

Take your drawing board and pencil and, without looking at the paper, slowing walk and draw a line that spirals clockwise from the centre. Allow the weight of your pencil on the paper to trace the weight of your body on the ground. Your lines will reflect this experience of movement.


Body Narratives

Filed under: Science, drawing — Lisa @ 20:40
Ocean-bottom krill sex

Ocean-bottom krill sex

Today I discover Chris Freemantle, his reference to Krill Sex animation in, and the Art $ Science Collaborations Inc. (ASCI), founded and directed by Cynthia Pannucci.



Filed under: Iconography, dance, drawing — Lisa @ 10:09

New drawings are inspired by Barbara Cuckson, director of the Rozelle School of Visual Arts in Sydney. Barbara’s training was with the legendary Gertrud Bodenwiesser, who was in turn a student of Rudolf Laban.

In Barbara’s classes I learn to dance with primal forms that were used to develop The New Dance.


Aesthetic vs anaesthetic

Filed under: Human rights, Presentations, Researchers, animation, drawing, writing — Lisa @ 10:38

I first saw this video on the Facebook of an artist friend.

As the U-tube caption reads,

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.

For more information on Sir Ken’s work visit:

This is the most lucid explanation I have seen of the divide between academic and artistic intelligences that is promoted by the dominant education systems around the world. I agree with Howard Gardner that we each have multiple intelligences that we can apply to every problem. My hunch is that we naturally apply all our intelligences to everything that we perceive as a problem, consciously and unconsciously.



Filed under: animation, circle, cross, drawing, photography, spiral, writing — Lisa @ 10:29

Photo: J-Brokowski, Australia Antarctic Division 2010

On September 11, 2001, I sat with my mother as she lay dying in a nursing home near Melbourne. Her room was empty of other people. It seemed the whole world was watching TV broadcasts of the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers in New York.

I drew the contours of Mum’s face as she gazed into my eyes and at a photo (beside me) of her other daughter Nadya. Mum’s eyes seemed full of sadness and fear. As I drew, I told her that I would keep an eye on Nadya, who had lived in and out of psychiatric institutions all her life. I asked her to let go of her fears because she had done everything she could do.

Mum had lost the ability to speak about 7 years before this day. All I could read were her eyes and the contours of her face. I drew as a way of holding onto as making some sense of this moment. Drawing and talking seemed to hold us together as she passed from life to death, into the great unknown. I remember the soft lines of the drawing (now somewhere in Tasmania) as ethereal and ‘other worldly’. I remember the simple lines that gently curve inwards as parts of an infinite spiral.

The following year, this moment with Mum resurfaced in Antarctica. This happened as I drew the first iceberg I saw from the ship as we neared the white continent. I later wrote:

Body memories of drawing my mother were recognised through the gestures I made to draw the ice. Perhaps this icy environment evokes a primal sense of mortality.

These memories of first seeing an ice berg helped me to empathise with other people who struggle with words to describe deeply felt personal experiences. It made it easy for me to understand how Antarctic ice may appear to have a life of its own. We may only be able to speak of the surface of ideas and feelings that we see in the ice. Something more primal was felt within the ice.

A recent post in Claire Beynon’s blog, The sea offers up orange deepens my knowledge that we can share expressions of connection to the world when we recognise primal forms within it. Expressions of connection to these forms can connect us to each other and to our environment at a profound level.

Here, Claire’s modes of expression are words and photographs, which reflect her experience on a beach in Dunedin and the connections she feels with the recent earthquake in nearby Christchurch (in New Zealand). Like the connection that I made, between my mother and the ice, the connections that Claire makes defy logic. However, her words and images communicate (to me and others who have commented on her site) empathic connections between all the great forces that shape our world (including us).

Primal forms (like the circle, spiral and cross) can awaken ’sublime’ feelings of connection to the great and unknown forces that shape the natural world (including melting icebergs, erupting earthquakes, and every living entity transforming into death).


Drawing is seeing

Filed under: circle, cross, drawing, spiral — Lisa @ 21:17
2010-06-24 Euphausia superba drawing 01

Drawing krill is seeing energy in motion

Last month I saw these krill at the Australian Antarctic Division’s krill nursery in Tasmania.

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