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Friday, 18 November 2016

Drawing Space Workshops

Drawing and Sound

 Workshops and other participatory projects are an integral part of my practice, as part of my Arts Council England funded research and development project 'Drawing as Experience' I wanted to develop a new series of workshops. Taking place over three consecutive Saturdays as part of the Health and Wellbeing program at Manchester Art Gallery, these workshops were open to the general public and participants I had met from St Lukes Art Project in Longsight (a project run by Alison Kershaw that enables people including those with mental health needs to develop their art practice). I also invited Rae Story, one of a team of artists who help to run St Lukes Art Project to develop and deliver one of the workshops.

Each workshop focused on a different aspect of drawing, the first was looking at drawing as a tool for noticing (both the subject and ourselves), the second, led by Rae Story was an exploration of drawing, light and movement which grew out of Rae's own art practice and role as a Qigong teacher. The final workshop focused on drawing in response to sound, including live music by Dan Bridgwood Hill playing violin and guitar.

Each workshop is a carefully built space, as much psychological as physical; from each drawing method developed, to the lighting, choice of words, materials, timings, seating, coffee and length of breaks, every layer is put in place to help provide an environment in which people can feel comfortable and ready to embrace wherever their drawing may take them, to be fully in the moment.

Though the specific drawing techniques explored in Drawing Space are, on the surface, most obviously related to my drawing practice, it is this idea of a constructed environment where I notice perhaps an even stronger link - I see the act of drawing itself as a springboard, allowing me a psychological space to explore and describe, and I enhance this by creating specific environments to draw within, such as immersed in live music or while placed under hypnosis, these are my catalysts. The Drawing space workshops were an attempt to create the right kind of catalyst for others.

We all increasingly need a space that makes us stop, create and dream.


Drawing and Movement

Drawing and Movement

Drawing and Sound

Thank you to the participants and everyone else involved in Drawing Space.

Some Participant Feedback:

'This was a magical and peaceful workshop'

'Loved it! First time Ive drawn since I was at school, this approach really helped me lose my inhibitions'

'Peaceful, introspective session, broadened my perception and allowed me to trust what was unfolding'

'Getting out of the house, performing and drawing, felt worth something'

'I feel relaxed'

I feel excited and energised.

For more photos of these workshops visit Manchester Art Gallery's Flickr album

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