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Portrait of Dr Juliet MacDonald Dr Juliet MacDonald | 01484 473520


Dr Juliet MacDonald is Research Assistant in the School of Art, Design and Architecture.

Juliet has a BA (Hons) Graphic Design specialising in printmaking. She worked in the graphic design industry for ten years as an artworker, before returning to higher education to complete an MA Fine Art (awarded 2000) and re-develop an art practice centred on drawing. For several years she provided instruction to undergraduate and postgraduate students on the use of specialist art and design software, and she shared responsibility for the running of a large Mac computer lab and animation suite. During this period Juliet undertook research for a doctorate, also at Leeds Metropolitan University, and was awarded her PhD in 2010. She has since continued to develop her practice as an artist/researcher.

In 2011, Juliet organised the ‘Technologies of Drawing’ conference at the University of Huddersfield in partnership with Sculpture Network. The conference was preceded by a 4-day drawing symposium during which an international group of sculptors compared and experimented with a variety of tools, techniques and procedures for drawing.

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Juliet currently contributes to teaching on BA Contemporary Art, Communication Design, MA programmes and to PhD supervision. She has recently completed PG Cert in Professional Development: Research Supervision. She also delivers inductions for postgraduate research students and workshops for staff colleagues.

Research & Scholarship

My research interests centre on drawing as a cognitive activity. I am interested in the way in which perceptual experience is refigured in drawing. One area of research is the Western academic tradition of observational drawing, regarded as a practice reliant on hand-eye co-ordination. I question the manual and visual skills in its operation, and the values attributed to the metaphors of ‘the hand’ and ‘the eye’ in its theorisation. I have considered the nature of these hand-eye skills during my exhibition and residency, De-skill Re-skill, at Drawing Spaces, Lisbon, 2008.

One aspect of my research interest is the way in which bodies are drawn. My perspective on this is informed by feminist writing concerning materiality and corporeality. A discussion of this was put forward in a recent paper, ‘Lines of movement, points of stillness: drawing and the figuration of bodies’ at the Bodies in Movement conference at University of Edinburgh, 2011.

Another underlying concern of my research is the relationship between humans and other animals. For example, I am researching scientific experiments conducted in the first half of the 20th century involving primates in drawing activities, intended to measure perceptual development. These experiments, informed by Gestalt psychology, bring into question the distinctions made between figure and ground, human and animal, culture and nature.

A further research interest is the digital reproduction of drawings. In a book chapter in the SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses, I use my PhD as a case study to consider the process by which figurative outcomes of drawing are reproduced, via an elaborate sequence of material contacts, in the operations of scanning, digital storage and display on screen.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


MacDonald, J (2014) ‘AlphaJournal for Artistic Research (5). ISSN 2235-0225

MacDonald, J (2014) ‘In Passing TRACEY , pp. 1-11. ISSN 1742-3570

Bailey, R., MacDonald, J. and Beverley, K. (2014) ‘Interdisciplinary Imaginations: Using Creative Methodologies to Solve 'Wicked Problems' ’. In: Interdisciplinary Imaginations: Using Creative Methodologies to solve ‘Wicked Problems’., 14th January 2014, University of Huddersfield, UK

MacDonald, J (2014) ‘Drawing Methods as Tools for the Interdisciplinary Imagination’. In: Interdisciplinary Imaginations: using creative methodologies to solve 'wicked problems', 14 January 2014, University of Huddersfield


MacDonald, J (2013) ‘The Art of the Diagram: modes of depicting apparatus used in Comparative Psychology experiments’. In: Technoscientific developments and Critical Animal Studies, 3rd EU conference for Critical Animal Studies, 28-30 November 2013, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany

MacDonald, J (2013) Marked Surfaces [Show/Exhibition]

MacDonald, J (2013) ‘Alpha: the figure in the cageRelations: Beyond Anthropocentrism . ISSN 2280-9643


MacDonald, J (2012) Alpha # 4: scheme for a drawing experiment [Show/Exhibition]

MacDonald, J (2012) ‘Creative activism found locallyRadar , 1 (3), pp. 22-25. ISSN 2049-4327

MacDonald, J (2012) ‘The Distinguishing Mark’. In: Minding Animals Conference 2012, 4 to 6 July 2012, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

MacDonald, J (2012) ‘Alpha: the figure in the cage’. In: Minding Animals Conference 2012, 4 to 6 July 2012, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

MacDonald, J (2012) ‘Digits and Figures: a manual drawing practice and its modes of reproduction’. In: SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses. : SAGE Publications Ltd. . ISBN 9780857027399

MacDonald, J (2012) ‘Bus station ’. In: INDA 6: International Drawing Annual. : Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center. .


MacDonald, J (2011) ‘Lines of movement, points of stillness: drawing and the figuration of bodies’. In: Bodies in Movement: Intersecting Discourses of Materiality in the Sciences and the Arts, 28-29 May 2011, University of Edinburgh


MacDonald, J (2010) ‘Drawing as a form of enquiry: paradoxical aspects’. In: Observation : Mapping : Dialogue, Drawing Research Network Annual Conference, 14 Sep 2010, University of Brighton, UK

MacDonald, J (2010) The Drawing Shed: Inverted Garden [Show/Exhibition]

MacDonald, J (2010) Drawing around the body: the manual and visual practice of drawing and the embodiment of knowledge Doctoral thesis, Leeds Metropolitan University.


MacDonald, J (2009) ‘Drawing as Embodied Knowledge’. In: Creative Practice Creative Research, 15th - 17th April 2009, York St John University, UK


MacDonald, J (2008) De-Skill, Re-Skill [Show/Exhibition]


MacDonald, J (2007) Drawn Over [Show/Exhibition]

Tsegmid, T. and MacDonald, J.(2007) Odoo/Current [Show/Exhibition]

MacDonald, J (2007) Delineate: an exhibition exploring line [Show/Exhibition]


Co-editor of TRACEY | journal

Peer reviewer for Journal for Artistic Research

Research Degree Supervision

• Art practice as enquiry
• Drawing as reflective process
• Traditional skills and techniques in drawing
• Performative aspects of drawing

Last updated Thursday 6 March 2014
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