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    Curves, sways, loops, folds, and witches’ traps: sensing duration in Sylvie’s drawings

    Trafi-Prats, Laura ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3468-1073 (2022) Curves, sways, loops, folds, and witches’ traps: sensing duration in Sylvie’s drawings. In: New Images of Thought in the Study of Childhood Drawing. Children: Global Posthumanist Perspectives and Materialist Theories . Springer, Cham, pp. 81-102. ISBN 9783031071423 (hardback); 9783031071454 (softcover); 9783031071430 (ebook)

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    The chapter develops alternative senses of time in children’s drawing by examining an event, where a girl called Sylvie, created a suite of twelve drawings composed by variations of swaying, looping, encircling lines and stories revolving around fairies, witches, traps, houses, and snow. It considers this event as existing in duration with two other events that occurred the same day. Bergson’s philosophy of time opens the possibility to understand children’s drawings in ways where the repetition of movements and abstract marks is considered in relation to difference, variation, and qualitative change. It offers important concepts to disrupt and resist a dominant narrative in the study of children’s drawings where repetition tends to be interpreted as sameness and unified under developmental patterns. Bergson’s philosophy discriminates between differences in kind and differences in degree, thereby suggesting that qualitative change is not accumulative. Qualitative change expresses differences in quality not in quantity, and attends to sensuous, aesthetic and material transformation in drawings, even minor ones. Qualitative change responds to the ways existing marks, gestures and other bodied memories compose and join with the ongoing flow of matter, language, bodies, images in an open-ended field of indeterminacy that generates variation, experimentation and becoming. The chapter argues that drawing practices are particularly important in both facilitating and registering such temporal, material and subjective compositions and in resisting the ongoing homogenisation and standardization of childhood and children’s creative practices.

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