In The Elements of Drawing, written through the winter of 1856 and first published in 1857,
John Ruskin urges his students to try: “Whenever you look at a form, to see the lines in it
which have had power over its past fate and will have power over its futurity. Those are
its awful lines; see that you seize on those, whatever else you miss”.
These awful or “fateful” lines are there, he says, in everything from mountains to trees and
“knowing the way things are going” is what distinguishes wisdom from stupidity.
In this seminar, Sarah will explore how working with story and pattern can help reveal these
fateful lines, and support the current challenges we have as a species, living with other
species, on a finite planet.
About the Speaker:
SARAH WOODS is an award-winning playwright and creative systems thinker, based in the
United Kingdom. She’s founder of Artists In Exile, supporting artists to find refuge in the UK,
a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge and
currently Fulbright Scholar in Residence at The University of Arkansas at Monticello. A
Better World, an anthology of four of her BBC audio dramas inspired by classic texts such as
Das Kapital and Democracy in America, has just been released by Penguin.