Monday, October 01, 2007

Drawn into The Big Draw 2007

The Big Draw - Drawing Together in the "Big Picture Frame"
with Zandra Rhodes and Andrew Logan
16" x 11", pen and ink and coloured pencils in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Over 1,300 Big Draw events take place across the UK throughout October. Venues range from royal palaces , museums, galleries and castles to parks, schools, hospitals and village halls. Collectively they demonstrate that drawing is a universal language connecting people of all ages, abilities and cultures
The Big Draw Press Release
The Big Draw 2007, organised by the Campaign for Drawing, was launched yesterday with 45 different drawing events in the East End of London. The main themes for 2007 are:
  • Shape the Future - Designing for Sustainability (in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering);
  • Changing Cities;
  • Inside/Out;
  • Body Science/Body Culture; and
  • Drawing Differently.
Launch Day Activities

I attended various "Drawing Together" events at the Queen Mary College site, the V&A Museum of Childhood and the museum's gardens which I'll be writing about in my Travels with a Sketchbook blog later today. Here's a taster below.

Drawing Animals #1
8"x 10", pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell
  • At the Octagon, Queen Mary College University of London - I drew the children and their parents participating in How One Cell Made Me - which focused on biology and drawing animals.
  • In Museum Gardens I visited
    • the Big Picture Frame - where I drew Zandra Rhodes and Andrew Logan - (see top). They were both intrigued by my drawing of them drawing and insisted on having a photo of it!
    • Save the Children tent -
  • At the Museum of Childhood I took a peek at what the children were doing
    • 'Building Lines' - using thread to recreate Cutler's Wharf which used to be home to the East India Company's sugar, cotton and tea warehouses
    • Changing Cities - building a gigantic city with roads and 3-D homes
    • Drawing People and Places - recording people moving around the museum
  • before racing off back to QMC for a lecture on 'Visual Imagination and the Invention of the Body' Dr Sarah Simblet, artist and author of 'Anatomy for the Artist' and The Drawing Book (Dorling Kindersley).
I was hugely impressed by the truly enormous quantities of pencils and paper made available by Derwent and Tullis Russell respectively for the launch events yesterday. HUGE rolls of paper and tins and tins (and tins!) of Coloursoft and Inktense and Graphitints and Sketching pencils and pastels!

Saturday's Guardian included an interview with Quentin Blake who launched the day of events. Quentin Blake is an illustrator and 'a national institution' and is the man who illustrated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG among many other things. His is one of the more interesting 'about the artist/illustrator' web pages I've ever read - see Meet Quentin Blake. An exhibition of his work opens at the Kelnvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow on 4th October.

More about Big Draw events in October on this blog tomorrow when I'll also be exploring the scope for UK bloggers meeting up at some of the Big Draw events.

This blog is also having The Big Drawing Book Review this month (as announced here) - more about this in my next post!

NOTE: The Campaign for Drawing is a charity. Read about its plus 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.



  1. What a fabulous way to bring people and art together :)

  2. Lucky you to live in London...

  3. Thanks Triecia and Anna. It was amazing being able to dash between so many different events - and to still feel disappointed that I didn't get to more!

  4. i remember when they did something like this before. now i'm out drawing almost every day i wish i were back there getting involved in this. i used to go to Queen Mary and do interactive theatre and art projects with local groups and schools, it would have been nice to return with the sketchbook. Looks like great fun!


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