When conceptualizing the exercises for her Intermediate and Advanced Drawing course, Leigh Ann Hallberg turned to chance. She introduced her students to the work of celebrated composer, writer, music theorist, & artist, John Cage (1912-1992). Specifically, the students studied his Ryoan-ji drawings, which he made in an intensive exploration of Japan’s most famous Zen temple, located in northwest Kyoto. During the last decade of Cage’s life, he dedicated himself to drawing using chance techniques for almost every compositional aspect of the work – from graphite density to the position of the stones themselves.
In a take on John Cage’s Ryoan-ji works, Leigh Ann Hallberg’s Intermediate & Advanced Drawing class took a walk down the Reynolda trail & selected rocks of their own. From this common starting point, the students then had to develop their own methodology & select appropriate materials for their techniques. Classroom discussions of the work they created will address the differences and similarities that their methods helped determine.
Information about John Cage & his work comes from the John Cage Trust website: http://johncagetrust.blogspot.com/2013/07/john-cage-ryoanji-catalog-raisonne.html