Blind Contour: A practice in intimacy

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All too often our interactions with other people are rushed, unintentional, or fake. Sometimes we fill the space between us with noise and meaningless chatter. A buffer to protect us from uncomfortable silence. But what if silence could be intentional? What if we allowed ourselves to be seen, and in turn truly saw another? This directive puts us face to face with one another, and challenges us to see and be seen.

Materials: Paper, pens and pencils, markers, colored pencils

Directive: choose a partner in your group, someone who is sitting opposite or diagonal to you. Once you find a partner, I want you to draw them. But here’s the catch, you can’t look at your paper or your hand. I want you to focus on the other persons face and trace the lines of their features with your pen. Go slowly, and try not to lift your pen from the page. When you’ve finished give your drawing to the person you drew. You should now have your own portrait. Loot at it. How does it feel to look at this picture? What was it like staring at one another? what was it like being looked at? Once you have discussed your images and the experience, take some time to color them in if you wish.

2 responses to “Blind Contour: A practice in intimacy

  1. I saw a good way of doing blind contour drawings which an artist used with children. He got them to stick their pencil into the middle of an A4 sheet of paper and leave the paper on. Then they couldn’t look down on their sketch.

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