Layered Visions and the Teleorama: Constructing Sites of Ruination through a Contemporary Drawing Practice

Layered Visions and the Teleorama: Constructing Sites of Ruination through a Contemporary Drawing Practice
Author: Losq, Juliette (6 September 2023)


In this practice-based research project the Teleorama, an historical, miniature optical device, is interrogated as a two-dimensional, drawn, painted or printed form that expands into a three-dimensional layered structure to internally depict a scene or event. This interrogation is brought into a relationship with the subject matter of the spatiality and materiality of modern ruins to address the following principal research question: Can the form of the Teleorama be applied to an investigation of sites of contemporary ruination in order to create immersive drawing-based installations that offer new approaches to fine art drawing practice?

The Teleoramic viewing experience is theorised through ‘layered vision’, a concept describing how the form is constructed to depict a scene from several viewpoints, or distinct spatial locations, and is consequently able to represent multiple moments in time. The Teleorama’s ability to invite the viewer ‘in’ to explore its miniature space is conceptualised through reference to the Picturesque, with which it shares an interest in framing and layering as absorptive devices, evidenced in contemporaneous painting and garden design.

Through constructing maquettes informed by several formal iterations of the Teleorama, and enlarging these to become installations, my practice explores the extent to which such works can convey the fragility and ephemerality observed in my initial encounters with modern ruin sites. The Teleorama’s potential to provide a perceptually and physically immersive experience for the viewer is examined in relation to both its structural form and selected fine art installation practices that employ representational imagery.

Whilst existing two-dimensional art practices address the modern ruin as a subject matter, this research proposes that the multi-layered, semi-enclosed structure of the Teleorama can be used as a basis from which to create immersive drawings of such sites. As such, I propose ‘installation drawing’ as a novel art form that allows for the physical experience of space and apprehension of a remote, virtual place. This dual ability suggests installation drawing as a model that might be adapted to confer this dynamic viewing experience to wider subject matter (and through varied media) by practice-based researchers in the field of Fine Art and beyond across other disciplines.

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