Ans Nys: Drawing as a mourning love letter

Doctoral Project

Ans Nys, PhD in the Arts

What is the potentiality of a drawing inside the topic of a love letter and, by extension, an epistolary novel? This practice based research wants to discover the specificity and pictorial power of the medium of drawing in a contemporary interpretation of the age-old form of an autobiographical mourning love letter. Central aim is to visualize the typical themes of the mourning love letter, e.g. the absence, memory, loss of and longing to the beloved one. Therein lurks the question to what extent the shortcomings of language concerning these themes can be bypassed through the performative act of drawing on the verge of writing. Memory, which always entails forgetting and imagining, perception and its inherent blindness, and the physicality of the act of writing and/or drawing, are artistic capacities that play a fundamental role in the creation of a mourning love letter as well as in the discipline of drawing itself. Hence, this research aims to reflect on these capacities in the blurring of the creative acts of drawing and writing.


  • Dr. Peter De Graeve (supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)
  • Dr. Jan Peeters (co-supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)

Research Unit: Image

Duration: 2018 - 2022