Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Big Draw events around the UK in October

The artist Paul Klee once said that drawing means taking a line for a walk. Looked at like that, the Big Draw is a stroll on a national scale
Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector, Royal College of Art
The Campaign for Drawing has a simple aim which is to get everybody drawing - and this post is an unashamed plug for the events associated with its annual celebration and showpiece of drawing - the Big Draw - which enables drawing to be a public activity as well as a private passion.

The Campaign was inspired by John Ruskin whose mission was not to teach people how to draw but rather how to see. The Big Draw enables people today to see how drawing enables people to connect with both their environment and their heritage.

Following on from yesterday's post 'Drawn into the Big Draw 2007' about the launch of The Big Draw at The Big Draw East, this post looks at other activities and events happening in the rest of October - Big Draw month. (The sketches included in this post are two more that I did at Big Draw East yesterday).

Activities are
mainly free and widely accessible and available all round the UK throughout the month of October - with a major weekend of activities on 13-14th October.

Big Draw activities explore different types of drawing activities - technical, scientific, architectural, archaeological or fine art drawing. Participants of all ages are invited to help expand the definitions and uses of drawing - experimenting with all manner of media. Events are targeted at different audiences - some are for families, some for children and some for adults.

The main themes for 2007 are listed below and expanded upon here:
  • Shape the Future - Designing for Sustainability;
  • Changing Cities;
  • Inside/Out;
  • Body Science/Body Culture; and
  • Drawing Differently.
Finding an event around the UK

You can find an event in your area on this page. Click on your area on the map and it brings up a long list of events over the course of October. You can also search for specific types of events using the search facility below the map. Here's an example of one of the outcomes from last year - The People's Panorama.

Here are links to a just a very few of the activities:
There's a lots more on the website. Click on the titles of each event to find out more about it.

If you are thinking of maybe organising a Big Draw event in future, the website also provides a marketing lesson in what catches the eye - and what doesn't. Cunning titles for events and interesting descriptions got my attention every time - although a number of events then provided a website link which had no further information. Maybe time for those organisations to do some website housekeeping now that October is finally here?

This year The Big Draw is teaming up with The Royal Academy of Engineering for a national competition, to show how much people rely on the design and innovative skills of the engineer. You can find out more about the venues involved with this initiative and competition here and on the Shape the Future website.

It's great to see that The Campaign for Drawing is also working in partnership with the Save the Children Fund to help raise funds to help children round the world to go to school. One of the ways they are doing this is by having a Big Draw/Save the Children competition where the winner gets to work with a famous artist. Drawings need to be about "The best thing about school". Materials and details can be downloaded from the web. All drawings are entered together with a donation of a £1. Drawings and cheques have to be sent to the Save the Children Fund before 31st October - see websites for further details.

The Campaign for Drawing's website also provides online drawing activities for children aged 7+ are available here. The site also includes pdf files for parents and carers to help stimulate drawing.

In the meantime I've discovered that The Big Draw Australia is also running - read more about it here. I understand that Big Draw events are now planned for New York, Washington, Boston, Vancouver, New Zealand and Portugal.

National Big Draw Day 13th-14th October in Covent Garden

Covent Garden will host the National Big Draw Day - which is on two days(!) - for the very first time. It's being held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October.

It has a range of drop-in activities
  • Put yourself in the Picture;
  • Transports of Delight;
  • The Big Picture Frame - Artists, cartoonists, designers and other celebrities add drawings to a giant frame - including Michael Foreman, The Bill Amberg Design Team, Andrew Logan, Posy Simmonds, Adam Dant, Lucinda Rodgers, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson, Andrew Marr and Gerald Scarfe and
  • the Cartooning Marquee where you can learn the tricks of the caricaturist's art from the professionals
There are also a range of 'specials' on each day.
Saturday Specials

Picture the Past St Paul’s Portico is the perfect setting for a roll call of historic figures from the area. Capture their portraits on a paper collage in the company of members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Take inspiration from actors dressed as Nell Gwynn, Inigo Jones, Eliza Doolittle and Ellen Terry.

Amazing Space Celebrate the architecture of London’s first public space – the Piazza, designed by Inigo Jones. Visitors on this Walk & Sketch tour will be in good company: expert drawers from top London architectural practices are keen to reveal intriguing details and vistas. Members of the Society of Architectural Illustration will also be on hand to offer advice on drawing townscapes.

Sunday Specials

The Big Covent Garden Still Life An epic arrangement of fruit and vegetables, sumptuously displayed on a ‘historic’ market barrow to reflect the site’s continuing status as a leading city market. Everyone will be invited to help complete a mural based on this giant still life.

Battle of the Cartoonists - High Life, Low Life (3.00 – 5.00 pm) Leading cartoonists from The Guardian, The Independent and Private Eye will cross pencils in a two-hour battle to create the most sensational banners, which will then go on display in the Piazza.

Now I am definitely going to the National Gallery talks, rather fancy the Amazing Space activity on the 13th and will probably try and get down to Kew again this month.

Are you planning to be at any of the activities this month?

NOTE: The Campaign for Drawing is a charity. Read about its history and its plans for the future plus its endorsements and funding partners and supporters here. Its patrons are Quentin Blake CBE, Lord Foster, David Hockney CH, Sir Richard McCormac, Andrew Marr, Sir Roger Penrose OM, Gerald Scarfe and Posy Simmonds MBE.


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