Thursday, 25 October 2012

Volunteering by drawing, on Monday.

 Forwarded from the volunteers list:

A different type of volunteering opportunity this monday afternoon, from 1pm:

Sam will be starting a job using the screenprinting equipment in the office, from approx. 1pm. He has invited anyone interested in learning how to do screenprinting to come along and learn - he is a patient and skilful teacher! Just come along, and phone the cinema if the front door is not open.

At the same time, a team of student volunteers will be painting a part of the cinema to create a diagram of how our organisation operates. This also is available for any keen brush-wielders to join in with, and will begin at approx 1.30 or 2pm. This group will finish at 4 and then watch a short film in the cinema till 5.30, so it will be a fun afternoon. If you might join us, please email Mike on

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Some work by 5 Artists in Residence : part 1

Anyone can be the Star and Shadow Artist in Residence, so long as you are willing to draw something, in some style. Here are some of the results so far, and only 3 days of the month remain unclaimed. So contact me quick if YOU would like to be Artist in Residence - no special skills necessary!

(& tomorrow's artist in residence is leading the 'crapazine' crap magazine defacement workshop at 5.30 tomorrow - Weds 24th).

Featured artist number 1:

Sculptures made by leftover elements of the Tusk weekend. Two 'drawings' made with resin and detritus, also created during the tidy-up. Plus a self-portrait in spraypaint, and sketches made of the Finnish naked-man sauna film that played that night, made while projecting said film. 

Featured artist number 2: bike art.  The tools proudly framed.

Elements of the building (grid pattern) incorporated in the drawing-produced-with-paint-while-riding-a-bicycle:

Featured artist number 3: anonymous, probably multiple, artists based in the bar area during Josie Long performance. Includes two depictions of Grace Petrie, with guitar.

Featured artist number 4: Wor Diary page-drawing in a collaborative creative space. A home-made diary, to be filled with local radical history and lifestyle tips, drawn by many hands and completed in the cinema on this Sunday.

Featured artist number 5: A range of works produced, including the more conceptual floor-level piece (below), to carefully priced A4 works, each presented in gallery format.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Exquisite Corpse on the 18th October

The Leeds Surrealist Group were bringing a new selection of short films by Michel Zimbacca to the cinema. I asked if I could add a drawing activity to the evening before they began, along the lines of the parlour game that the Surrealists adopted and called Exquisite Corpse. They were not keen for the two events to be too closely linked, as their take on Surrealism is not defined by any particular method or technique, but is more quite simply to do with 'what the Surrealists do'.

Nonetheless, I got their blessing and advertised drawing games in the Star & Shadow brochure. As I have noticed on other occasions, free, open-sounding events do not always bring in many totally new people eager to join in: I think this is because it can be unclear what to expect, what 'entertainment' is being provided. But instead, this event brought in some good old friends, the majority of whom I have already drawn with as part of the Paper Jam Comics Collective

This group of comics-fans is very used to drawing against the clock, with no judgement about what is quality and no anxiety about getting drawings 'right'. They are perfect for just launching in to some collaborative drawing, in which the pen moves faster than the mind and all you can do is try to keep up with where the picture is going : no planning, no forethought, no chance to be sure of what you are doing. I LOVE drawing like that, and I made a little video which I hope shows the kind of joy that can come out of it.

Click here to watch the video.

Some of us will also be taking part in a 24 hour comics challenge, at the Globe Gallery near the Discovery Museum, from 10am this Saturday. For this reason (and for which the Star & Shadow is donating some of its sofas, which are all donations already from various good and uknown people!) I will not personally be about doing drawing stuff at the cinema this weekend, so I will be excited to see what turns up on the walls at the Baltic party tonight and at the Goat gig!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Some pictures of some drawings in the cinema.

This post is just to share a little facebook page that I missed, of some drawings (& other picturesque things) that were photographed in the Star & Shadow on the 11th October. It includes Josie Long, and also drawings of Josie Long: click here.

First video of the Bicycle Drawing.

I have been filming some activities to make an 'end of Big Draw' video-document. The first video from this is a ten minute one with a lot of giggling (a shorter version, maybe with music, may follow one day). Click here to watch it.


The text I have put on youtube explains it thus:

"As part of the Star & Shadow Cinema's participation in The Big Draw, volunteers were invited to draw, whilst on a bicycle. A test run with felt tips was tricky, so we moved on to paint for this experiment on the 11th October 2012.

It is fun just to watch but, should you wish to know the narrative (voices are mumbly) it is listed below. I mention the discussion in particular to remember how it was an open & collective process.

 0.00 - setting up

0.30 - "maybe ..." discussion of how to do it.

1.00 "This is the first one, you've gotta get it right."

2.00 Refining bicycle-drawing styles.

3.36 "It's so pointless, it's lovely! It's quite a treat to do something so pointless."

4.10 "Shall we go from the other way?" discussion.

5.00 "It proper hurts."

5.30 The day's artist in residence (not really an individual artist in residence, but someone's name had to go in the box). 

6.10 People in from the street: "We're just having a nose."

 6.40 How to display the 'work' - discussion.

7.30 An independent wheel.

8.15 "These pictures are from the Tusk festival: I asked our volunteers to draw what they saw."

 8.30 Horizontal spinning.

9.00 "It would be quite cool if we were chasing the wheel."

9.50 "Last time!"

10.10 Discussion - "you don't have any control at all on what it looks like"

10.30 "Grids appearing."

11.00 "I think this is an absolute disgrace!"

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Event Announcement: Drawing By Wrestling

On the last Saturday of the Big Draw month, we thought a stupidly wonderful kind of event was a good idea. So this is the plan (to be confirmed later today):

You're not allowed to get covered in paint. There are no shower facilities in the Star and Shadow. It is childish to muck about. You could do yourself an injury like that.

We're going to ignore these things and you are invited, at your own risk, to get covered in paint. Draw with your bodies. Send liquid projectiles through the air. Splatter, spatter and slide! One end of the Star & Shadow foyer will be covered in paper. Buckets of paint will be made available, and then people are invited to chuck it about & get messy.  

Children are especially welcome to take part, but it is their parents' responsibility to clean em up afterwards! (Some overalls will be provided). Sandy and Mike are both Star & Shadow volunteers who love getting creatively explosive, and they will be loosely coordinating this activity. All resulting artwork will be displayed.

Then at 2pm we are going to change the tone of the event and start wrestling! Fresh paper, dust suits, maybe some 'soft play' materials. If you are interested in grappling with a friend (or stranger) and seeing what paint shapes and smears you create in your grunting hugs, get in touch in advance with Mike

This might go terribly wrong. Heh heh.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Artist in Residence, & Upcoming drawings this Week

   Star & Shadow Artist in Residence

As of today, there will a designated 'Artist in Residence' every day at the Star and Shadow. 

They will not be funded, not be especially talented or more artistic than you, and they (you) will not know what they're in for until they say 'ok' and get their name written up in the special frame that I'm setting up today. You can be the artist in residence for a day! The person so appointed will get to display any of their scrawlings, masterpieces or half-finished doodles in the frame.

[Image to go here when I've installed the thing!]

A photo of the resulting drawings will get published on this blog, and in keeping with the open, participatory style of our Big Draw, the camera for documenting this will be left gaffertaped nearby to ensure someone/anyone documents it before the new artist takes over each day. 

   Drawing Activities in the Foyer

Is it a foyer? Is it a lobby? Whatever you call that big well-lit space in the venue that goes between the box office and the backrooms, it's perfect for drawing and perfect for exhibitions! So at 1pm on Thursday we are going to start adding 'things' to it to make it more fun for drawing. What are those 'things' you ask, well we haven't done it yet so we haven't decided: come along and add your ideas, physically! 

A big illustrated maze is one idea, a small house that only young people are allowed inside is another (inside might be crayons and walls to draw on, but no adult is allowed to see what is produced), paint and inks and charcoals and rolls of wallpaper may all appear.

   Drawing on Bikes

Having first been tested out with felt tips on mop-poles during Tusk, we think we have a plan for how to draw in an interesting way, whilst riding a bicycle. It involves a long roll of wallpaper on the ground, possibly several. It involves trays with paint, and it probably involves your bike wheels getting colourful. A few volunteers are going to test this out on Thursday afternoon, at approx 1.30pm, feel free to join in!

   During Josie Long's shows

Everyone will really be focussed on the music and comedy and good times. But one of our volunteers, Paul, will be keeping the drawing going in a style of his choosing!


Twice every month new volunteers are offered a tour of the building as the first part of their induction. They can then choose to sign up to a volunteer shift where they will be shown the ropes and their induction is complete! This Saturday there is an induction at 11am and the drawing activities will be out in the lobby available for use! And look out for what the artist in residence is up to!


This will be a busy day: the biggest creative drawing day of the week. 

In the bar room, people will be drawing diary pages for the collaborative Newcastle-based diary, Wor Diary! 52 weeks of the year equals 52 different volunteers drawing, cut-n-pasting, choosing their themes and making this home-made diary happen, as it has for the last 5 years. 

Also there will be a display of drawings during the St.Imier report-back in the cinema room at 4pm. Plus the foyer will be open for drawing business too. Come down any time from 3pm, when the Canny Little Library opens as usual, and stay around for the evening film, which Mike (Big Draw volunteer) will probably be doing some drawing shenanigans at too.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Announcement: Crapazine Workshop 24th October

Different Star & Shadow volunteers like drawing in different ways, and for different reasons. One likes defacing crap magazines, or crapazines. Join this workshop to share the satisfaction! Bring your own crap magazine. Black pens and tippex will be provided.

This workshop costs £15 (£10 concessions).

Not really, clearly it's free.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

1st weekend

 OHP projections from Wednesday, and the rules of engagement for today and yesterday, below:

 I don't remember this band (above). And there's more goes on at the cinema than drawing (below, today).