The exhibition comprises six works that oscillate between painting and drawing and represent single-work outcomes of projects + each work’s supporting drawings. In addition, a video loop presents a series of clips of each work’s indicative processes, spoken while simultaneously performed. QR codes enable the viewer access to the fully published projects on the Research catalogue, in which the exhibition’s works are embedded. While the contention of the larger research project, hosted by i2ADS (Institute of Art and Design Society), Porto University), is that visual perception and variously other attendant senses can be observed in and through an engaging practice, each of these individual projects has had its own content. Two of the projects are, for example, responses to the question of ancestral DNA respectively before and after knowledge gained from a DNA test result. These are in response to a call for drawings on the theme from i3S (Institute of Investigation and Innovation of Health), Porto University. In all cases, however, the range of iterations of visual-material language in response to external ideas, and creative and intuitive directives supported by academic reading and writing, follows a pattern. A common motif at large in the works is the imploded illusory image of an action camera, which is there because it will have recorded aspects of the works’ process. The mediums of the works are themselves common materials: tablecloth paper used as temporary covering in Porto’s restaurants; corrugated cardboard, poured coffee in its interaction with the aforementioned supports; clear plastic sheeting due to its ability to homogenise elements of ink drawing and collage and to favourably accept drawing in oil paint on its outer surface. Coffee has moved through the projects from a domestic association to that of its coincidental origin in Africa, albeit some millennia later but along with the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens.
Michael Croft is a British/Irish citizen living in Porto, Portugal, since 2021. He is a collaborative researcher with i2ADS (Research Institute in Art, Design and Society), Porto University, and is currently engaged in a research project titled ‘The Observation of Perception, considered through drawing’, shared with four other researchers. Michael trained as a painter at Camberwell School of Art, London and the Royal College of Art, London, graduating in 1985. His creative practice spans drawing, visual-experiential and conceptual-linguistic enquiry, reflective-academic writing, video, and voice recording. He has taught extensively in tertiary and higher education in the UK, Thailand and South Korea, on programmes such as visual communication, conceptual fine art, and architecture studio, developing a generic model that encourages students to better understand and explore their experiential relation to their own creative practice.