Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Crapazine Workshop

Thankyou to Robin for leading this workshop on the 24th October

Every act of crap magazine pollution can be turned around and made into something unique and surprising and challenging. 

Carry a black marker pen and a pot of tippex with you and you too can transform those glossy packets of lies, insecurity & celebrity-worship into something positively weird! 

Here are some of the images we came up with, in a brief 45 minutes before that evening's film. 

We should do it again some day - prompt me if you want to decide the day!


Some play by non-artists in residence.

I believe artist to be a meaningless word. Its associations and connotations of status or genius or whatever I repudiate entirely, as I have ranted about previously - at length - on my main blog.

But drawing is an activity that is accessible to all, and my interest in the Big Draw is all to do with getting everyone to draw - not just saintly priest-class artist types who are somehow special and different to us. 

That's why the 'artist in residence' thing was just a kind-of ironic, kind-of demystifying effort. I also think drawing is good for us - good for our minds and our mental wellbeing and our sense of what's going on - and for self-awareness and clear-thinking too. 

So we should all do it, and here are some drawings by people who were not artist in residence in the Star & Shadow during October, but were the heart & soul of it anyway:



Some work by 3 Artists in Residence: part 2

Posts from now on are put up after the Big Draw finished : in the last week of October I got a big waylaid by more active bits & pieces (wrestling!), & by the video of the Big Draw (previous post). So it is only after a couple of weeks that I am adding these as documentation. Thankyou to everyone who took part - including people I may never see again!

1. Arto Spit & Cellophane

Lynne produced an artwork which was videoed. It somehow involved her wrapped up in this cellophane outfit (which she later stitched back together and hung in the foyer) and some kind of liquid (was it spit?) dribbling down. I don't know, I didn't see it. I look forward. But when she learnt that the Big Draw was happening, she contributed an additional drawn piece, pretty giant in size, called 'Arto Spit'. It depicted the temporary shapes made as spit (contributed by Arto, with a little cola & coffee in his gullet) rolled & unfolded in a pint glass.

2. The Cyclops Series.

The great thing about doing the Big Draw was that, in additional to getting people I know involved, it also got responses from people I'd not met before, saying 'yes I'll be artist in residence for the day'. The following series of cyclops figures drawn with chinese ink onto sheets was by Louis, whose 'artist name' was Mike Sprout.



3. Drawings thinking about the Mental Health Film Season : Between an Elephant's Toes & Trunk

These very popular drawings were made one day by Andrew. When the Big Draw was over, they were the first ones that people said 'can I keep that?' and he let them get taken home.Click on them to see the words & detail.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Video of the Big Draw!

I write this as the video is uploading to youtube. It is 20 minutes long and features 15 different drawing activities, thumbnails to follow but the text explaining it is below & the link is HERE:

Some beautiful drawings, some strange ideas, & lots of people having a go at the Star & Shadow. www.starandshadow.org.uk

October is Big Draw month, when the Campaign for Drawing & enthusiasts like me try to get everyone drawing - even those who think art's something they were no good at at school.

The Star & Shadow Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is an entirely volunteer-run venue full of the kind of people who are up for that kind of thing. Here, in 15 sections, are documented some of the 'drawing' activities that we got up to this October.

Music by Richard Dawson, Goat, and Hannabiell & Midnight Blue (all of whom performed in the cinema that month).

1   "Drawing?"
- the very first of our daily 'artists in residence' challenges the standard notion of 'drawing' by doing a thing with detritus found in the building. Note: we do not really have a resident rabbit population.

2   "Bar Volunteers Draw Tusk"   (00:30)
- the bar at the Star & Shadow funds most of our rent, and is entirely staffed by volunteers. Throughout the Tusk (experimental noise) festival from 5 - 7th October, I badgered everyone who helped on the bar to draw one of the performers, and got over 30 drawings as a result.

3   "Drawing by Bicycle"   (00.50)
- Star & Shadow volunteers were invited to take up the challenge of drawing whilst on bicycles, and this is what they did.

4   "Drawing with Wax"   (03:00)
- Sam saw the wax crayons & said 'You know that thing where you can melt them? Let's do that.' He later screenprinted on the result.

5   "An Open Space for Drawing"   (03:30)
- drawing was not supervised or 'managed' at the cinema: instead materials were left out and invitations were displayed. What then happened is entirely down to the unknown stranger.

6   "Zine Making"   (05:30)
- zines are DIY papery productions, in which a person can share their thoughts, experiences & drawing with others. The Star & Shadow hosts a free 'zine box' that people can help themselves to, and a photocopier with which zines like this are made.

7   "Drawn Diaries"   (06:10)
- the Canny Little Library (open every sunday) on this day hosted two diary-drawing things. One was sketches from a trip to the St.Imier anarchist convergence, another was the production of Wor Diary, an illustrated collaborative diary in which a different person draws each week.

8   "Rain and Water"   (06:46)
- to be clear, the 'artist in residence' was about saying 'anyone's an artist' and challenging the very notion. So on this day we made raindrops the artist in residence.

9.   "Exquisite Corpse"   (07:50)
- our take on the parlour game that was adopted by the Surrealists. Drawing together is good, the results can never be predicted.

10   "A 24 hour comic"   (09.35)
- one beautifully uncontrolled international conspiracy is that of making 24 hour comics: in 24 hours you draw 24 pages and then, if you wish, share them. Here's one made on the 20th October, incorporating the 'Goat' gig at the Star and Shadow.

11   "Work by some 'artists in residence'"   (10:50)
- despite intending to undo the idea of 'good' artists, some of our residences actually produced some fine work.

12   "Crapazine Defacement Workshop"   (11:50)
- most images we are bombarded with are shitty and trying to make us buy things, worry about our looks, or interest us in deeply uninteresting things. They deserve to be defaced and you should always carry a marker pen with you for this purpose.

13   "Drawing Spit"   (13:15)
- a live artpiece was videoed (I have not yet seen it), and the artist then produced a giant picture of spit, as seen in its emergent phase, once gobbed into a pintglass of water.

14   "Paint Splatter"   (14:10)
- advertised as a day to get messy and play with paint, and also used as part of a risk assessment for the evening's wrestling activity. I find the video of feet-painting genuinely beautiful, which is why this is the most extensive part of the video documentation.

15 "Later that Evening"   (19:41)
- drawing by wrestling. This was round 3, at 1 in the morning. A suitable point to end and go to bed.