Train Journey

drawing doppler slips while moving through landscape

  • Maryclare Foa UAL Camberwell
Keywords: Motion as a material to work with, Motion, Drawing while moving through landscape, Drawing on a train, Dopple shift, Doppler slip, catching motion in marks on a surface


During the 2000’s I often travelled south west through England from London to Honiton by train – a journey of around 3 hours. Occupied at that time with my practice-based PhD (focused on drawing in response to the outside environment), I was fascinated by the idea that motion impacts work and motion could be employed as a material for drawing, so I drew the fleeting glimpses of layered landscape from the carriage window. Exhilarated by the struggle to keep up with the passing vista and excited by anticipation of the unpredictable results, the continued movement through the landscape activated my viewpoint into a tantalising frame that slowly revealed the approach and then, as one view seamlessly rolled into another, vanished the departing vista. How observed building seem to move on their axis (from two dementional to three dementional ), as the observer moves past, reminded me of Dutch chemist and meteorologist Buys Ballot’s Doppler Shift, he had musicians on a train on the Utrecht-Amsterdam line, playing a calibrated note to prove the change of tone (frequency on a wave) as sound passes. If the Doppler Shift defines the change of a frequency in a passing wave, then perhaps the observed change of a building’s perspective as it is passed might be termed a Doppler Slip.