Howard Riley

Howard Riley
Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity St David

PhD MA(RCA) CertDes FRSA FHEA
Postgraduate research supervision & examination

About

145
Publications
54,792
Reads
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346
Citations
Introduction
Howard Riley PhD MA(RCA) CertDes FRSA FHEA, Professor Emeritus, Swansea College of Art (1991-2015). Studied at Hammersmith College of Art, Coventry College of Art, Royal College of Art (RCA). Teaching: Curtin Univ., W. Australia, 1980-91; Malaysian Institute of Art 1991; RCA 2012/14-16; Classical Education Forum, Cardiff, 2017-present. Research supervision completions: 11 PhDs 5 MPhils. Served on the AHRC Peer Review College; member of the National Association for Fine Art Education Steering Group. Drawings at: https://howardriley.wordpress.com ORCiD registered: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8682-2587
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - July 2010
Arts & Humanities Research Council
Position
  • Member, Peer Review College
September 2004 - August 2015
Swansea College of Art
Position
  • Head of Department
January 1991 - March 1991
Malaysian Institute of Art
Position
  • Visiting Lecturer
Education
October 1997 - July 2001
University of Wales
Field of study
  • Pedagogy of Drawing
October 1974 - July 1976
Royal College of Art
Field of study
October 1971 - July 1974
Coventry College of Art
Field of study

Publications

Publications (145)
Article
As the faculties of literacy and numeracy are universally recognized as worthy of pedagogical nurturing, so this article champions an older, graphic articulacy: visualcy . An articulacy with the language of drawing that distinguishes the visual arts from other disciplines. Its nurturing has been compromised by the shift away from teaching drawing i...
Article
Aspects of Edmund Husserl’s egological phenomenology and James J. Gibson’s ecological visual perception theory are construed dialectically for the purpose of informing the teaching of drawing, with an emphasis on understanding relationships between viewer positions and objects in the environment as represented through geometric projection systems....
Article
This article reviews 20 years of attitudes to drawing pedagogy and looks forward with a studioful of post-pandemic optimism. It reiterates the importance of drawing in art schools as the most direct and economic means of nurturing our intelligence of seeing. Throughout the period, neoliberal policies directing the UK higher education curricula towa...
Book
Full-text available
Published by Jessica Kingsley, this book offers 5 strategies to improve observational drawing. Tested with dyslexic students, it has also proved successful with students who are not dyslexic.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A dialectical relationship between Husserl's 'egological' approach to understanding the relationship between perception and reality, and Gibson's 'ecological' approach to the understanding of visual perception, is proposed and applied to the pedagogy of drawing.
Data
PowerPoint of presentation to Research-Teaching Nexus meeting, Gregynog, 2011
Conference Paper
This is a warning about the demise of fine art courses as centres for the nurturing of an intelligence of seeing. The article argues that the one domain of human inquiry which distinguishes the visual arts from other disciplines is surely that surrounding the faculty of vision. The UK Government’s neo-liberal agenda directing the higher education c...
Article
Whilst the faculties of literacy and numeracy are rightly recognised as worthy of pedagogical nurturing, this article champions a more venerable articulacy – visualcy – crucial to a healthy culture, arguing that the one domain of human inquiry which distinguishes the visual arts from other disciplines is surely that surrounding the faculty of visio...
Article
The paper champions an articulacy in drawing-visualcy-as central to a visual arts pedagogy, arguing that the one domain of human inquiry which distinguishes the visual arts from other disciplines is surely that surrounding the faculty of vision. The ascendency within the artworld of a relational aesthetics often devoid of perceptual insights is tra...
Preprint
Full-text available
The paper champions an articulacy in drawing ‐ visualcy ‐ as central to a visual arts pedagogy, arguing that the one domain of human inquiry which distinguishes the visual arts from other disciplines is surely that surrounding the faculty of vision. The ascendency within the artworld of a relational aesthetics often devoid of perceptual insights is...
Article
Full-text available
An original pedagogy of drawing is proposed for the art schools, based upon aspects of theories of visual perception and visual communication. It is argued that drawing practice facilitates an intelligence of seeing, bridging the gap between conceptual intrigue and perceptual intrigue. These terms are defined, and the gap between them in contempora...
Article
This article argues that drawing is a medium of visual communication, using any tool leaving a trace upon a surface, capable of referring to objects and events in the past, present and future, real and imaginary, functioning to modulate the viewer’s attitude towards the subject-matter through the systematic selection and combination of visual eleme...
Preprint
Full-text available
Examples of images are analysed using a systemic-functional semiotic model.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
My friend and colleague Robert A. Newell's (2005) drawings of rocks from his PhD thesis demonstrate how drawing can be a source of understanding and knowledge beyond the scope of the scientific method: his use of perspective positions the viewer within the scene, but with tonal contrast boundaries representing the edges across the scene from backgr...
Article
This article addresses a question still frequently posed in the context of UK universities which offer courses in the visual arts: Does the PhD research model of contributing new knowledge fit art, where there are no definitive answers and the main strength of the research is its ability to question?, answering in the positive by distinguishing bet...
Conference Paper
The presentation is intended to support research supervisors and others charged with advocating practice-based doctoral proposals in the context of university cross-disciplinary research degrees' committees.
Article
Full-text available
The article reasserts the primacy of drawing as a driver of creativity within art schools. It reviews specific aspects of visual perception theory and visual communication theory relevant to a pedagogical strategy as a means of nurturing an ‘intelligence of seeing’ in art students. The domain of drawing is theorised as a systemic-functional semioti...
Article
Across 2 studies, the authors asked whether extensive experience in portrait art is associated with face recognition ability. In Study 1, 64 students completed a standardized face recognition test before and after completing a year-long art course that included substantial portraiture training. They found no evidence of an improvement in face recog...
Presentation
Full-text available
A 3-day drawing workshop held at the Royal College of Art, October 2016
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A presentation made to the Drawing Research Network conference, Loughborough School of Art & Design, 5-6 September 2016. An original pedagogy of drawing is proposed for the art schools, based upon aspects of theories of visual perception and visual communication. It is argued that drawing practice facilitates an intelligence of seeing, bridging the...
Presentation
Full-text available
PowerPoint Presentation to the workshop ’The Genesis of Graphic Skill: Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Perspectives’, held at the Knowledge Lab, University College of London.
Data
PowerPoint presented at 2nd Visual Science in Art conference, Belgrade 2014.
Article
Full-text available
The central theme of this article proposes that an amalgamation of aspects of visual perception theory and visual communication theory can inform the pedagogy of drawing in an art school context, and can empower the drawing practices of art students. The article explores James J. Gibson’s (1979) insights about how information contained within the s...
Research
Full-text available
This paper reports recent research undertaken between the Royal College of Art (RCA) and the Faculty of Art and Design, Swansea Institute, University of Wales. The hypothesis that dyslexic and/or dyspraxic students might be identifiable through indicators present in their drawings is tested. A taxonomy of visual indicators of dyslexia/dyspraxia is...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that expertise typically is acquired as a result of deliberate practice and a flexible approach to strategies for learning. Representational drawing is a complex skill which underpins performance in many branches of the visual arts and has the characteristics of other domains of expertise. It is therefore likely that approaches to...
Article
Full-text available
In 1943 Theron Cain studied art students’ ability to draw a series of simple two-dimensional shapes, and found this ability to be correlated with formal drawing assessments at art school. This provided evidence that some aspects of drawing ability could be quantified, and that performance on simple drawing tasks could predict higher level attainmen...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents a systemic-functional semiotic model for the analysis of visual materials, and demonstrates how the model can facilitate both the analysis and synthesis of drawings in an art school pedagogical context. The model is explained as developing from Michael O'Toole's (2011) adaptation of Michael Halliday's (1973;1978;1985) systemic...
Article
Full-text available
Structural brain differences in relation to expertise have been demonstrated in a number of domains including visual perception, spatial navigation, complex motor skills and musical ability. However no studies have assessed the structural differences associated with representational skills in visual art. As training artists are inclined to be a het...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the relationship between semiotic understanding and gestural drawing practice. Gesture is discussed as an integral drawing strategy in the production of a body of practical research titled extended drawings. Recent debate about whether gestural and embodied practice falls outside the realm of semiotic analysis is addressed, an...
Article
Full-text available
Drivers of Creativity: How Theory can Inform Contemporary Practice in the Art School Curriculum and Beyond Howard Riley, Dynevor Centre for Arts, Design & Media, Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wales, UK. Abstract: This paper discusses an innovative strategy for the integration of theory modules, termed Drivers of Crea...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the application of systemic-functional semiotics in the analysis of visual materials, and, specifically, presents and demonstrates the efficacy of an original systemic-functional model that facilitates both the analysis and synthesis of drawings in a cross-cultural context. The model is explained as developing from Michael O’...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces a novel approach to pedagogy within an art school in the UK HE sector, based upon a synthesis of perception theory and communication theory. It is argued that art students’ drawing is empowered by strategies of teaching informed by aspects of James J. Gibson’s ecological approach to visual perception relevant to an understan...
Article
The paper proposes the activity of drawing as a methodological strategy within a university research context. It is illustrated with examples from one of the authors' (Roberts) practice-based PhD research. The paper argues that drawing as a research method can be validated in a manner akin to the more established research methods associated with th...
Article
Full-text available
This article elaborates the dialectical relationship between visual art forms and the social structures in which they are produced, by extending Robert Witkin's taxonomy first presented in his 1995 book Art and Social Structure. Witkin tracked the history of visual art from pre-modern times, for which he invented the label invocational art, to the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article describes the introductory project on the Masters programme in the Faculty of Art & Design, and locates it within the frameworks suggested by Chris Frayling (1994) Helen Walkington (2011) and Mick Healey (2005). The Thought Experiment becomes the vehicle by which students are encouraged to develop individual approaches to the gathering...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with drawing talent have previously been shown to exhibit enhanced local visual processing ability. The aim of the current study was to assess whether local processing biases associated with drawing ability result from a reduced ability to cohere local stimuli into global forms, or an increased ability to disregard global aspects of an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background / Purpose: To explore the potential link between visual memory and drawing ability. Main conclusion: Visual long-term memory and drawing ability appear to be correlated but visual short-term memory and drawing are not.
Article
Full-text available
Observational drawing is fundamental to artistic practice, by enhancing perceptual processing (Kozbelt, 2001; Seeley & Kozbelt, 2008) and creativity (Chan & Zhao, 2010; Pratt, 1985) regardless of an artist's specialist medium. However the perceptual and memorial processes underlying drawing ability remain poorly characterised. The aim of this explo...
Article
Full-text available
Learning to Perceive: Informing pedagogic practice through the empirical study of drawing Presentation Format: Paper Authors Qona Rankin (Royal College of Art) Howard Riley (Swansea Metropolitan University) Rebecca Chamberlain (University College London) Nicola Brunswick (Middlesex University) Chris McManus (University College London) Abstract Mas...
Chapter
Full-text available
Exhibition review
Article
This article reassesses the traditional requirement of a written dissertation for the awarding of an Honours degree classification within UK art schools, in the light of the academic principle of student inclusivity. It proposes an alternative, what is here termed a visual dissertation, equally rigorous as the written form, but structured as a visu...
Article
Full-text available
This article looks at issues surrounding the academic dissertation within the particular context of the Art and Design school. To begin with, questions of objectivity and authorial voice are examined, suggesting that current practice does little to foster student identity. A discourse framework is then established largely based on the work of Brune...
Article
People vary in their ability to make accurate representational drawings. Cohen and Jones (2008) have suggested that individuals who draw poorly have problems in the perception of objects, so that the extent of shape constancy (phenomenal regression) correlates with drawing ability, there being a "robust negative relation between perceptual errors r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many dyslexic readers receive intensive reading instruction throughout childhood, and they learn to ‘compensate’ for their early reading difficulties but other signs of dyslexia usually remain throughout life. Poor spelling, in particular, is a typical sign of dyslexia in adulthood, so much so that it has been identified as the best single predicto...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The association between dyslexia and superior visuospatial ability is, if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, robust. A small amount of empirical evidence also indicates that dyslexic individuals are disproportionately represented in professions and academic disciplines related to art and design; and biographies of great scientists (e.g. Thomas E...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is a component of ongoing research by a team comprising an art school lecturer, a coordinator of dyslexic students' support, and psychologists interested in exploring correlations between drawing ability and factors such as mathematical ability, personality traits and dyslexia. It extends research by gathering and analysing data collecte...
Article
Full-text available
Some art students, despite being at art school, cannot draw very well, and would like to be able to draw well. It has been suggested that poor drawing may be a particular problem for students with dyslexia (and a high proportion of art school students is dyslexic). In Study 1 we studied 277 art students, using a questionnaire to assess self-perceiv...
Chapter
Catalogue notes for the exhibition 'What Will Be Seen' held at the BayArt Gallery, Cardiff Bay, May-June 2010.
Article
Full-text available
A distinction is made between primary geometry, the arrangement in space of lines of projection from a 3-D object to a plane of projection, and secondary geometry, the relationships between the points, lines and shapes of the drawn projection on a 2-D surface. Drawing projection systems, such as those classified under British Standard 1192, are ill...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper addresses the RCA 'Include 09' conference theme of inclusivity from two standpoints: firstly, collaboration between researchers from fields including psychology, educational study support and studio drawing practice, which has revealed insights to students' learning difficulties in drawing not easily accessible through mono-disciplinary...
Article
Full-text available
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper presents pedagogical research in progress on the Foundation Diploma course, Faculty of Art and Design, Swansea Metropolitan University, where students are introduced to the basics of visual communication through an adaptation of Michael Halliday’s systemic-functional semiotic model of language. The authors’ adaptation is illustrated as a...
Conference Paper
This paper reports on a collaborative research project between members of the Royal College of Art’s Drawing and Dyslexia Discussion Group , representing the Royal College of Art, and the Faculty of Art and Design at the Swansea Metropolitan University. The study seeks to identify any relationship between dyslexia and the way dyslexic students draw...
Article
Full-text available
Just like the Emperor's new clothes, much recent visual art practice, according to Peter Campbell (2005: 24): became famous without necessarily being seen. People felt they knew the tent, the bed, the shark, the fly-infested cow's head, whether they made it to the gallery or not. The concept was more telling than the reality. When you saw the piece...
Article
This article reviews aspects of Russian Formalist theory that appeared between 1914 and 1930 as applied to cinema, and argues that the period has bequeathed a rich legacy, facilitating the development of an original model for both the analysis and production of narrative film. The model, presented here as a multimodal, systemic-functional semiotic...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To develop an intelligence of seeing in students which may be applied to the full range of visual practices.