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Leah Garnett: Drawing on Air 

Put your imagination and penchant for doodling to good use with Drawing on Air


The Nook, 2116 Gottingen Street/King's Wharf
Zone 4, exhibit 400

The mind always wanders, and Mount Allison professor Leah Garnett's Drawing on Air has encouraged daydreaming since she began the project in 2002. With a broadcast station at King's Wharf and a listening room at The Nook, Garnett will read stories that invite drawing what the mind imagines.

"I have always been intrigued by how radio demands that listeners imagine visuals for what they are hearing," she explains. "In that respect, listeners contribute to the broadcast by 'drawing' the content in their minds. When I began Drawing on Air, I wanted to explore the differences between verbal and visual communication, and what would happen when listeners translated verbal descriptions into images," Garnett says. "I was interested to see how differently listeners would interpret verbal descriptions. Inevitably, there was tons of variation."

During Nocturne, Garnett and a team of assistants will upload the drawings online if listeners choose to share them, as a growing live gallery in real time.

Garnett has had an interest in the power of aural communication and radio since childhood. "I grew up without a television and my family listened to the radio every day. We lived in Maine where the public radio station played fantastic children's programming, so I became an early fan of hearing stories and radio dramas on air," she says. "I hope that Drawing on Air encourages people to draw no matter their abilities. Technical skill shouldn't stop anyone from giving vision to their imaginations."

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Vol 26, No 42
March 14, 2019

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