Cover of publication, Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice volume 7, issue 1, published by Intellect Books UK. This issue contains research article, Trace and catharsis: Embodied drawing by Brooke Leigh.

Trace and catharsis: Embodied drawing


By examining a selection of works from my practice, Cassils, Louise Bourgeois, Ana Mendieta and Tracey Emin, that exemplify the act of mark making through processes of encountering intense states of the body, ‘Trace and catharsis: Embodied drawing’ explores the concept of drawing as the residue of performance. I will investigate catharsis as a performative gesture in itself – the release of internalized distress through acts of externalization and exertion.

Publication type

Research Article


Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice


Intellect Ltd

Suggested citation

Leigh, Brooke (2022), ‘Trace and catharsis: Embodied drawing’, Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, 7:1, pp. 79–98,

Article link


About the publication

Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication. This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.