The Lines Between: Relational Subjectivities and the Practice of Observational Drawing


  • Jessica Taylor



anthropology, art psychotherapy, learning disability, observational drawing, intersubjectivity


I suggest that language can lock us into rigid and predefined models of relationship, and may prevent versions of ourselves from coming into being. I suggest that in a social context that privileges verbal communication, people with learning disability can be positioned in a discourse of representation depicting them as passive and dependent. Drawing opens a space for non-discursive subjectivities to be explored in the context of relationship. I illustrate these ideas with a vignette of my time spent in a community with adults with learning disability and communication difficulties, whilst also drawing on my experience of working for organisations that support adults with learning disability.

Author Biography

Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is an artist and anthropology graduate, currently training in art psychotherapy within the inpatient service of a London NHS Trust. She has five years’ experience of working with adults and children with learning disabilities.