She has a Doctorate degree in Art Studies/Theatre from the University of Coimbra and an MA in Performance Space from the University of Kent, UK. She is a freelance set and costume designer working with several theatre and music groups around the Coimbra district, such as O Teatrão, Trincheira Teatro e Casa da Esquina (https://www.facebook.com/FilipaMalva1977/). She is a founding member of the Portuguese Association of Scenography – APCEN, and currently a recipient of a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). She is a full-time researcher at INET-md’s Dance Studies Group (inetmd.pt) where she is developing a project on the role of drawing in the creative process of scenography. AFILLIATION Scenographer Senior researcher at INET-md, Dance Research Group, FMH-UL Post Doc fellow for FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal
Abstract name: EXPRESS NOTEBOOKS: DRAWING IN CONTEMPORARY SCENOGRAPHY
Our research project looks at the way drawing is used during the creative process of scenography within the performance arts, and it aims at generating a public digital database which can be used as a source for discussion and reflection by practitioners and academics alike. It is our intention to structure and reflect upon the artistic and pragmatic relationship scenographers have with drawing as a device for the creation of space and time of performance and as well as a mediating element between the bodies of actors or dancers on stage and the drawer’s page. The study of these relationships informs the creative process of scenography and argues for a particular relationship between the drawer-scenographer and the performer. Research results show how scenographers, set and costume designers alike, look at drawing as a valuable resource for research and communication even if they often will not have the necessary time to develop it as they wished. Proficiency in drawing is a subject that has also been discussed frequently as an issue that troubles them in their collaborations with other professionals. These two subjects, time, and proficiency for drawing, condition greatly the creative process of scenography and can hinder its development in the wider context of performance. Even if most scenographers are trained in drawing, their ease with using it during the intense process of collaboration usual in the performance arts will depend on many external factors such as place and time of collaboration, processes of communication between practitioners or even the concepts being explored. For each process there can be an alternative way of drawing as it serves the purpose of a specific theme, space of performance, performers, lighting, etc. Nonetheless finding a scenographic drawing’s expression takes time. And time is a valuable and rare commodity in contemporary creative processes. In this presentation I will discuss examples from this research project that record the frustration of scenographers with the conflicting relationship between shorter and shorter periods for the creation of scenography for theatre and dance and their personal belieM in the need for drawing as a process. I will also examine strategies they have developed to cope with it.