DRAWN, a solo exhibition by Anita Taylor at The Customs House Gallery in South Shields
Written by Anita Taylor
We have been quiet on the home front at Drawing Projects UK this summer, here's why!
Anita Taylor has been busy with DRAWN, a solo show, which is now open at The Customs House Gallery in South Shields. On until 12 November 2017, the exhibition focusses on the role of drawing within her practice, and has been curated by Esen Kaya of The Customs House Gallery in association with the DRAWING programme across a range of venues in the North East of England.
DRAWN provides the opportunity to view the range of Anita Taylor’s drawing practice and includes over 40 drawings, from a key drawing, Seeing Something Else  through to the new Witness series . This exhibition is presented in two parts: with her ink drawings exhibited in the Upper Fusion Space and an extended series of monumental charcoal self-portrait drawings presented in the main Gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by a film made in her studio by Robin Fearon and a publication will also be launched during the exhibition.
We hope that some of you may be able to see the exhibition in South Shields - it is open from Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm and on Sundays from 11am-8pm with free entry. There is an associated education programme. The publication will also be available from Drawing Projects UK in due course.
This solo exhibition has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and is also supported by Bath School of Art & Design at Bath Spa University.
Life Drawing Sessions: June 2017
Written by Anita Taylor
LIFE DRAWING SESSIONS - JUNE 2017
We offer a range of life drawing sessions at Drawing Projects UK.
These include the unguided (model only) sessions on Monday evenings from 6-8pm until 26 June; and guided life drawing sessions led by artist-tutor Alex Roberts. These sessions will take place on the evenings of 6 and 20 June from 6-8pm, the 7 June from 9.30am -12.30pm and an all day session with multiple models on 20 June. These guided sessions support each participant to develop their technical skills and proficiency in drawing from life and are suitable for adults of all levels of ability, including beginners and those seeking to refresh their skills.
The Music Project - Kusanganisa - Wednesday 7 June at 7.30pm
Written by Anita Taylor
KUSANGANISA - THE MUSIC PROJECT - 7 JUNE 7.30PM
The Music Project facilitates innovative, creative and experimental performance-seminars at Drawing Projects UK, and we are thrilled to be welcoming Kusanganisa back to Bridge House on 7 June.
Kusanganisa is the Shona word for mixture, that aptly describes this world music project involving four musicians from different traditions. Chartwell Dutiro (mbira and vocals) is from Zimbabwe and has been brought up in the Shona tradition. Leandro Maia (guitar) is a singer and composer from Brazil. Nick Sorensen (soprano saxophone and flute) is a jazz saxophonist whose music is located within the traditions of contemporary jazz and folk music. Chris Blanden [bass] is a rock musician who previously worked at Real World Studios.
Following this unique performance there will be an open discussion with the musicians and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. Doors open at 7pm. Refreshments available. Booking is recommended as seats are limited for what will be an exceptionally enjoyable event in The Music Project calendar!
Michael Pennie - Drawings of Different Sizes -13 May to 10 June 2017
Written by Anita Taylor
From the very beginning of his career drawing has been an integral part of Michael Pennie’s artistic output, enabling ideas to be recorded, interrogated and developed. The Drawings of Different Sizes exhibition brings together the best of Pennie’s recent drawings made during his tenure as Artist in Residence at Corsham Court. The exhibition at Drawing Projects UK has provided an opportunity at this stage of his career to showcase a developing preoccupation with drawing.
"Drawing is the simplest way to externalise an idea - to get it out your head. I can find out a lot about a proposal for a two metre high sculpture if I make a two metre high drawing. Quite often the drawing is the work, the idea goes no further, making a drawing can save me weeks of labour, especially when I find my idea is more appropriate to a drawing than a sculpture." Michael Pennie
On 22 May, Michael Pennie will be giving away three drawings from this exhibition. For a chance to win, pick your favourites either by visiting the @DrawingsOfDifferentSizes Instagram page or by filling in the Win Your Favourite Drawing postcard in the gallery.
Michael Pennie has exhibited widely: notably at Tate Britain, Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute, and with Flowers Gallery. In 1980 Pennie was commissioned to create Early Morning Pipe for the Forma Viva outdoor sculpture collection in Slovenia. He played a pivotal role as curator and artist in Sculpture in the City of Bath in 1986. Over six months in 2015, Michael Pennie’s multi-site tour, Adventures in Wiltshire: Sculpture For Furniture, exhibited recent sculpture, print and drawings in nine venues. Michael joined Bath Academy of Art in 1962 as a visiting lecturer and stayed on to enjoy a rewarding teaching career in parallel with his artistic practice. In 1996 he became Professor of Sculpture at the newly instated Bath University College. In 2001, Michael retired from teaching to become a full time artist but retains his university connections. He is presently Artist in Residence at the Corsham Court campus of Bath Spa University.
The exhibition is curated by Fiona Cassidy, a freelance curator currently working in the South West of England. She programmes the visual arts at Pound Arts, Corsham and Town Hall Arts in Trowbridge and is researching for her MA in Curatorial Practice at Bath Spa University. Fiona worked closely with Michael Pennie to develop the Adventures in Wiltshire series of exhibitions in 2015. For Drawings of Different Sizes and Six Decades, Six Sculptures, on show at Victoria Art Gallery in Bath in May 2017, she has produced two video biographies which are available on YouTube - Michael Pennie Drawings and Michael Pennie Sculptures.
The exhibition continues until 10 June 2017, and is open from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday and weekdays by appointment. Michael Pennie and Fiona Cassidy will be in conversation at 4pm on Saturday 10 June 2017 at Drawing Projects UK, for which you can reserve a place here.
Six Decades, Six Sculptures opens to the public on Saturday 20 May as part of Bath Society of Artists’ Summer Exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath BA2 4AT and continues until 15 July 2017. Michael Pennie's Artist Talk will be at 2:30pm Sunday 28th May at Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.
Greyscale - an exhibition of five Australian Artists at Drawing Projects UK
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is delighted to present Greyscale an exhibition of works by five Australian artists - Peter Burgess, Julia Davis, Adrian Gebers, Pollyxenia Joannou and Lisa Jones - from 6 April until 6 May 2017.
The Greyscale exhibition explores the role of grey and grey-ness through drawings, digital media, photographs, mixed media. Grey, with its significant cultural and scientific properties and relationship to colour theory are explored though a variety of graphic means. In her essay for the exhibition catalogue, Dr Donna West Brett [University of Sydney] says:
‘Grey is used here to rework how we perceive matter, how we embody place, the ways in which we encounter, remember or retrace time and remnants of existence. It is also fundamental for the possibilities of recording the world through the intricate materialities of graphite, felt, paint and photography or lava and ash.’
Peter Burgess’ work focusses on the negotiation of relationships between private and public levels of experience, where found objects and images are each recognised for the potential of their individual narrative. Objects and experiences that are normally taken for granted - a parcel tied with string, an old photograph, even language itself - are re-arranged, re-packaged or re-contextualised to take on new meanings. Peter Burgess studied Architecture at NSW Institute of Technology before studying Art and Education at Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Pratt institute in New York in 1981. He has had numerous solo shows, and exhibited extensively in group shows, in Australia, North America and Europe. His works are held in a number of collections including the Australian National Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC.
Julia Davis works with a wide range of materials and processes including object, photography and video. Her installations are often site-specific and have been installed in salt lakes, deserts, parklands, as wells in galleries and the built environment. Working in active landscapes such as deserts, volcanic areas or salt lakes, Davis spends long periods interacting with the location and accumulating data and materials. Here, grey is represented in a photograph of a turbulent volcanic event, with the ash forming the grey tonal range of the image, next to this hangs a plastic sheet into which lava and ash has been physically ground, forming a trace of the event. Julia Davis has an MVA from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and exhibits nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Australia Council Residency at the British School at Rome. Her work is represented in private collections in Australia and Europe.
Adrian Gebers takes the greyscale, in the form of a standard reference card used by photographers and designers to measure colour, and re-presents it as a large graphite wall drawing, behind which is a grey painted wall. The colour of the wall is drawn from the process of a paint company’s camera, which is designed to recreate reality as accurately as possible. The installed work explores the inherent visual schism between the technologies used in depicting or representing the greyscale. Adrian Gebers is an artist and writer and from 2010-2013 was Co-Director of Peloton, a Sydney ARI (Artist Run Initiative). His research focuses on the structures through which meaning is made and the particular history of Sydney’s art world.
Pollyxenia Joannou's contribution to the exhibition is through a series of grey, tonal works that intertwine elements of drawing and painting, using materials such as acrylic paint, conté crayon and felt, to reflect upon migratory history and its remnant traces in the urban landscape. She studied art at East Sydney Technical College and City Art institute, UNSW, and has a Masters in Communication Design from St Martins School of Art and Design in London. Pollyxenia Joannou has exhibited in group and solo shows in Australia, Europe and the UK; and her work is represented in the collections of ArtBank, Art Gallery of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.
Lisa Jones makes work that take the form of mapping, both cartographic and cultural, resulting in drawings and sculptures that reinterpret human and made systems such as transport lines, bodily organs or cracks in pavements, are symbolic of dislocation, order and chaos, history and time. Her work explores drawing, sculpture and video, and she has exhibited nationally and internationally in individual and collaborative projects. Her drawings have been acquired by the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Prize and Macquarie University Art Gallery.
The opening event takes place on Thursday 6 April from 5pm to 8pm in association with Explore Art in Trowbridge. There will also be a Drawing Session on Saturday 8 April led by Julia Davis and Lisa Jones and a free Gallery Talk on Saturday 8 April with Peter Burgess, Julia Davis, Lisa Jones. Please contact us for opening times over the Easter period.
Flood Story - an exhibition by Gerry Davies - 9 March to 1 April 2017
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is delighted to present Flood Story, an exhibition of drawings by Gerry Davies from Thursday 9 March until Saturday 1 April 2017.
The exhibition Flood Story takes speculative thinking about global warming and rising sea levels to extremes. This sequence of drawings by Gerry Davies imagine environments so submerged, tangled and lost to us that they can only be visited by scuba divers. The drawings are made in a silvery mix of graphite and varnish and depict interiors, villages, towns and cities, smashed and flooded. Banal 21st Century objects – clothes, iron, bicycle, cars, planes – are silted down to become future fossils and archaeology. For us, today, inundation events on this scale are in the far future, yet when viewing these drawings, the feeling is of looking back into history and a record of the past. Through this sense of a shift in time they suggest we, and the divers, have been transported forward in time to look back at the remains of our environmental folly.
Gerry Davies is Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University and an artist who writes on drawing. He is ‘less interested in what drawing is and more interested in what it can do’. His work seeks to get a better understanding of how and where drawing today is engaging with subjects beyond the arts, in for example, science, medicine, and anthropology. This extends to his drawing practice, which has recently seen him drawing geology deep underground in Yorkshire and Australian caves. He has an extensive exhibition profile and has been a regular exhibitor in the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the predecessor annual open drawing exhibitions since the 1990s.
The exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm Thursday to Saturday. The exhibition catalogue is kindly supported by Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Art and Lancaster University and includes essays by Professor Nigel Clark of Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University and Gerry Davies, the artist, with a foreword by Professor Anita Taylor, Director of Jerwood Drawing Prize and Executive Dean of Bath School of Art & Design at Bath Spa University.
We are delighted that the exhibition has been listed in a-n's must see exhibitions of the week and in Interalia Magazine.
Please contact us for further information.
Elisa Alaluusua - Sketchbooks: An Obsession - 9 February to 4 March 2017
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is delighted to be hosting an exhibition by Elisa Alaluusua at Bridge House in Trowbridge from 9 February - 4 March 2017.
The exhibition, Sketchbooks: An Obsession, explores and presents sketchbooks used by contemporary artists and has been developed from a research project undertaken by Alaluusua that involved in-depth interviews with a number of artists and sketchbook users. A video installation exposes sketchbook pages on screens and projections and the stories of the interviewed artists blend into one another as their voices are heard talking about their sketchbook practices. Featuring extracts from interviews with artists Stephen Farthing, Dennis Gilbert, Nigel Hall, Eileen Hogan, Anne Howeson, Michel Sandle and architect Naomi Shaw, the installation draws the viewer into the compelling world of sketchbooks.
Elisa Alaluusua originates from Finnish Lapland and has been exhibiting internationally since the early 1990s. in 2015, she won second prize in the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize with her video/drawing Unconditional Line. Alaluusua lives and works in London and regularly visits the reindeer farm where she grew up in Lapland.
The exhibition will be open to the public Thursday to Saturday from 10am-4pm from 9 February to 4 March 2017. A special event will take place on Saturday 4 March at 4pm, the Drawing Discussion: On Sketchbooks with Nigel Hall RA, Michael Sandle RA and Anita Taylor with Elisa Alaluusua will explore the role of sketchbooks in their practice. Booking is essential for this free event via this link.
Sketchbooks: An Obsession is kindly supported by The Finnish Institute in London. The exhibition was featured as a 'must see' exhibition of the week by a-n and was featured as 'pick of the week' by Megan Dunford for Visual Arts South West. You can also read more about Elisa Alaluusua's project in Interalia Magazine.
Christmas will soon be here - and our holiday opening times are in place for Drawing Projects UK and Studio Cafe. In the run up to Christmas we will be open from 10am to 4pm from Thursday to Saturday only. We will then close until 5 January 2017.
We hope this will give you ample opportunity to visit the current exhibition of Anita Taylor's drawings and to view the exceptional display of OPjects by Kim Jin Eui, amongst the collectables in stock, before Christmas. If you would like to view the exhibitions by appointment, book a meeting room and/or the cafe, or view our workspaces please do contact us. We will be busy behind the scenes preparing for the next season of Drawing Sessions, Drawing Discussions and Open To Draw programmes.
In January we will also launch our Second Wednesdays, live music with jazz saxophonist Nick Sorensen; creative writing workshops; and more. We will also be continuing our collaboration with Trowbridge Arts for Exploring Drawing, and our new season of Life Drawing Sessions will start from w/c 23 January 2017.
Our Spring programmes will be published soon. In the meantime, a huge thank you to all our supporters in 2016. We hope to see you again soon.
And we wish everyone a happy holiday, if we don't see you before!
Anita Taylor Drawings - Exhibition at Drawing Projects UK
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is presenting an exhibition of drawings by Anita Taylor from 5 December 2016 to 27 January 2017.
For Anita Taylor [b.1961] drawing is a fundamental discipline for creative development, used both as a means to encounter and examine the world, and as a departure point for new understanding and the identification of content. For more than three decades she has been making charcoal drawings that explore the relationship of the female subject (as artist and model) and the defining acts of scrutiny, gaze and feeling. This interrogation of gesture and expression has led to a sequence of drawings that question not just the appearance, but the emotional or haptic sensation of being inside a skin or body that can only be seen or recognised by the self with the aid of a mirror. The ink drawings explore more expansive themes with reference to historical precedent, narratives and event. With fluid expression they explore, interpret and re-situate the depiction and representation of their female characters and subjects. The exhibition at Drawing Projects UK provides the opportunity to view the range of her drawing practice and includes a number of large-scale charcoal drawings that challenge perceptions of identity, self and portrayal and a selection of ink drawings that explore narrative and subjects that include the A mon seul desir, Ghosting: Stanley and Daphne, and the Wives' Tales series.
In addition to her practice as an artist, Anita Taylor is Dean of Bath School of Art and Design and Professor of Fine Art at Bath Spa University, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize project and founder of Drawing Projects UK. She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally and has drawings in a number of public collections, including the V&A. A drawing held in the Jerwood Collection is currently on show in Century: 100 Modern British Artists at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings until 8 January 2017. The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 is also on show at The Edge, University of Bath until 17 December.
Studio Cafe at Drawing Projects UK
Written by Anita Taylor
We are delighted to announce that Studio Café is now open at Drawing Projects UK.
Studio Café serves delicious coffees, teas and cakes for you to enjoy during your visit to Bridge House for events and exhibitions. It is open to the public and provides a great place to meet and to relax in a creative setting.
There will be an exciting new programme of events delivered by Studio Café in association with Drawing Projects UK. Current opening hours are from 10am to 4pm on Saturday to Sunday, and during our events. Catering for meetings, room hire and other events held at Bridge House is also provided.
Please call us on 01225 767993 for more information about the cafe, meeting room hire and the Drawing Projects UK programmes.
The café team look forward to welcoming you.
Eleanor Bartlett Paintings & Drawings
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is delighted to be presenting an exhibition by Eleanor Bartlett from 5 November until 26 November 2016.
Eleanor Bartlett (b.1951, Wiltshire) began her practice in 2007 with a two-year period drawing natural forms and patterns. She then commenced painting and sculpture using industrial materials of tar and wax to describe form. The work continues to develop the relationship with form and material, moving towards a monumental purity.
“This work continues an on-going series describing elemental form, painted with tar. Tar has an industrial beauty suggestive of toil and endurance and it is the behaviour of this material that really drives the work. The drawings evolved from a period of study at Bridge House in 2016 concentrating on the rich seam of feral activity, metal container and general destruction at the local recycling centre.” Eleanor Bartlett, 2016
Forest of Imagination at Drawing Projects UK
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK is delighted to present the drawings of Andrew Grant made for the Forest of Imagination, a four-day contemporary arts festival held in Bath in the successive years of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Forest of Imagination exhibition is presented during the month of The Big Draw and a series of workshops for schools and young people delivered by 5x5x5=creativity, an independent arts-based action research organisation which supports children in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them develop their creative skills. The workshops are kindly supported by the Wiltshire Community Youth Area Board.The exhibition runs from 5 – 29 October 2016.
Andrew Grant is the founding Director of Grant Associates, formed in 1997 to explore the emerging frontiers of landscape architecture within sustainable development. He has a fascination with creative ecology and the promotion of quality and innovation in landscape design. Each of his projects responds to the place, its inherent ecology and its people. He is known for a creative approach to ecological / sustainable landscape design and the integration of landscape with engineering and architecture to create distinctive contemporary places with a strong ecological character.
In 2012 Andrew was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in recognition of his pioneering global work in Landscape Architecture and is also a Visiting Professor for the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, UK. In 2010 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA reflecting the strong relationships he has developed with many of the leading architects in the UK and abroad. He has been involved in all scales of development from sub-regional planning of National Parks, strategic planning of new towns and green infrastructure strategies through to the design of particular landscape spaces or components. Andrew has worked on a number of high profile award winning projects and has collaborated with some of the top architects and engineers in the world. Andrew led the design team on the £500million Gardens by the Bay project at Bay South in Singapore which won the Building Project of the Year Award at the 2012 World Architecture Festival. Andrew has been invited to present the work of Grant Associates at conferences around the world and has appeared in a number of radio and TV programmes and documentaries including for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Andrew's drawings for Forest of Imagination are playful and propositional. They exemplify how a designer thinks through drawing and how, through this process, creative ideas are shared and communicated, and form plans for development and implementation. The Forest of Imagination drawings re-imagine familiar spaces and propose a new and heightened sense of nature in an urban environment.
The ambition to inspire children and young people in Trowbridge to re-imagine their own environment and design their own Forest of Imagination lies at the heart of this drawing project. Children, including those from the John of Gaunt School and The Mead School, have been involved in the project and their artwork is now presented alongside that of Andrew Grant, and also Ruth Thorp (illustrator), Perry Harris (cartoonist) and Anthony Head (interactive artist and Director of Illuminate Bath) at Drawing Projects UK. A Family Day will be held on Wednesday 26 October from 2-4pm. Come along and see these playful drawings inspired by a Forest of Imagination.
New season of Drawing Sessions starting in September
Written by Anita Taylor
We are just gearing up for the new season of our Drawing Sessions here at Drawing Projects UK. The Drawing Sessions all take place in the beautiful and well-equipped drawing studio at Bridge House and will start again in September and run through until December 2016.
From 26 September we will run the first six-week block of Monday evening Life Drawing Sessions led by artist tutor Alex Roberts from 6-8pm. Each Monday evening Alex will lead the life drawing session and support each participant to draw from the life model and to develop their technical skills and proficiency in drawing from life. By exploring the underpinning principles and processes of drawing from observation, participants will gain skills, facility and confidence in their drawing practice. With small group sizes that ensure individual attention, these life drawing sessions are suitable for adults of all levels of ability, including beginners and those seeking to refresh their skills by drawing our lovely team of life models with expert guidance from Alex. Earlier in the year, Alex led two very engaging weekend drawing sessions here at Drawing Projects which had excellent feedback from our participants. Therefore, we are delighted to welcome Alex back for this new evening session. You can find details and how to book here or please contact us for further information.
On Tuesday evenings there will be a model available to draw for a two hour drawing session, between 6pm and 8pm. The session will be structured by a lead artist participating in the session and enables experienced artists and creative professionals to come together to draw the life model. The costs of running the session are covered by a contribution by each participant. All places must be reserved in advance as we have limited places available in order to ensure the quality of the experience so please email us if you are interested to know more. We are open to running further sessions on this basis if there is demand.
We are also very delighted to be working with Trowbridge Arts again who will be holding their Exploring Drawing workshop for mixed abilities led by Michele Whiting on Thursday afternoons. We see this unique partnership as very valuable in helping us to share and promote the opportunity to engage in drawing in particular, and the arts more widely, in Trowbridge and beyond.
Our aim is to develop and facilitate drawing as a key means of visual expression and communication and our Drawing Sessions underpin this objective. There will be a range of new Drawing Sessions, Drawing Talks, After School Drawing Club amongst our programmes as well as our exhibitions and Open to Draw projects coming soon. We hope you will join in!
About Drawing Projects UK at Bridge House
Written by Anita Taylor
Drawing Projects UK was established in 2009 to develop, organise and promote projects that provide opportunities to experience drawing and to gain knowledge and understanding of drawing in the UK. In 2015 I was looking for a new studio in the area and, as well as providing me with a beautiful space to make work, Bridge House has serendipitously enabled the opportunity to expand Drawing Projects UK through a new physical space for a centre for the research and development of drawing and contemporary art in Trowbridge.
Throughout my career, as an artist, educator and exhibition organiser, I have been involved in championing the role of drawing in creative practice and education. The wider passion and enthusiasm to develop knowledge and understanding of drawing has grown substantially in the last few decades and is evidenced by numerous initiatives in the UK, including the annual Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition of which I am the founding director and have been leading since its inception in 1994 to the present day.
Drawing is both a sophisticated and vital means of thinking and communicating, and readily accessible to all. As a primary visual language, essential for cognitive development and enhanced communication and expression, drawing can be seen to be as important as the development of written and verbal skills. The need to understand the world through visual means would also seem more acute than ever; with images transcending many barriers and enhancing communications in an increasingly globalised world. Drawing is a primary means of expression, and an integral means of creative development and ideation, reflection and information gathering. This surely means we should invest time and resources in the development of our knowledge, understanding, skills and facility, in and through drawing. And at a time when the creative industries have become one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy, it would seem extremely important that the role and value of drawing is recognised for the significant contribution it makes to the development and sustenance of creative, cultural, social and economic wellbeing.
The establishment of The Drawing Centre project space and training room, which underpins our research and development and facilitates public engagement with drawing, was facilitated through generous support from Bridge House Community Trust. This enabled us to programme the first Drawing Sessions and Drawing Discussions with leading artists, designers and makers and our ongoing partnership with Trowbridge Arts to deliver Exploring Drawing. In 2016, our pilot Open to Draw programme has featured artists from the UK and Australia. The scheme is open to applications for the proposal of individual projects that test and develop new approaches to drawing and the exploration of drawing within a wide range of practices. It aims to facilitate the development of new work, and to foster dialogue through public interface with the research and development of drawing via seminars, workshops, display and public presentations within The Drawing Centre as a site for the testing of ideas in and through drawing.
Bridge House also has 12 workspaces available for individuals and micro-enterprises in the creative and cultural industries, which are ideal for artists, designers and makers, and those who wish to work alongside these creative professionals and the activities of Drawing Projects UK. With the aim of furthering the opportunity for informal networking and exchange, and to support Bridge House as a destination to see, make and discuss drawing, a café will open in October.
Built in 1929, as the Wiltshire Working Men's Conservative Benefit Society, Bridge House and with the carved motto 'Unity is Strength' above the front door, it seems fitting to aim to foster and build a vibrant, outward facing and inclusive community through the activities of Drawing Projects UK in this landmark building.
We are still very much in the early days of implementing our vision, to breathe new life into Bridge House as a creative and cultural hub. If you would like to know more, to become involved, or to support what we are doing please contact us.
Open to Draw - Summer Programme 2016
Written by Anita Taylor
One of the objectives of Drawing Projects UK is to enable the exploration of the role of drawing within a range of creative practices and contexts. This summer we welcomed three projects under our Open to Draw scheme through which artists or others can propose projects that test and develop their ideas through drawing.
The first summer project was undertaken by Wendy Sharpe who, alongside her exhibition Theatre of Dreams at Bridge House, also planned and tested an experimental project for the Yellow House in Sydney in association with The Australian Art Quartet. By drawing directly onto the walls in one of our studios, Wendy was able to explore the scale, language, materials, colour, imagery and pace that she would need to deploy to produce a large scale 20-metre drawing as an integral part of a live performance at the Yellow House. See a short video of how this developed back in Sydney: Wendy Sharpe at the Yellow House [courtesy of Derivan].
The second Open to Draw project was undertaken by five artists visiting from Yorkshire - Andy Black, Kate Black, Tracy Himsworth, Lucy O'Donnell and Sally Taylor - who brought a focused energy to the drawing centre as they collectively explored their individual ideas and practice through drawing and dialogue in the project space. The five artists had jointly presented a number of exhibitions over the last 18 months and had identified a need to engage in a different way to better understand the connections in their practices of drawing. Through drawing and working together, rather than through exhibiting completed works together, they were able to extend their individual goals through collective engagement. A Curators and Educators event we held at the end of their short residency brought a distinguished group to the drawing centre and the ensuing dialogue uncovered the value of having a dedicated space in which to test ideas in dialogue with others through practice, and conversation, and revealed insights into the creative process and the value of research and development time for artists, other than the expectations of exhibition practice.
Our current resident artist is Sophie Cape, who has just arrived from a residency in Italy. The project space will afford Sophie the time to reflect on her experiences of working in the marble quarries in Carrera. She will make a series of works on paper developed from preliminary drawings, documentation and sketchbooks, and the materials of the landscape she aims to portray. White marble dust will be a key element of the new drawings as she seek to convey the disorienting, rugged whiteness of the historic and spectacular Italian quarries. We look forward to seeing how her drawings develop from her experience, and to seeing a preview of them before she returns to Melbourne at the end of the month.