The Vulnerable Artist And The Great Big Draw

7 Jan

At the great big draw.

A few months ago, some of the artists involved in Artawe got together and did a big draw at Elysium Gallery, taking over the space for a week to, well, just to draw. A few of us stapled huge sheets of brown wrapping paper to the walls and the word went out to local artists to come in and draw all over them with charcoal and chalk. Just like we were told NOT to do by our Mams when we were little. We started on a Saturday and continued throughout the following week until the gallery was full. It was open to the public and we were in fullview through the large windows. It was photographed and a short film made of it and then it was ripped down and binned. Ephemeral art indeed. Here’s a photo of the whole thing by Chris Harrendence who drew the amazing top-hatted man on the far left.

At the big draw. Photo by Chris Harrendence.

It was about the time that Ai Wei Wei had ‘disappeared’ in China and my drawing refelcted on the artist’s role and how vulnerable we are if our art challenges political, social or religious norms. I’m looking at my drawing top right, above a work by Sandra Demar and Tim Kelly’s work just behind me. It was brilliant that so many artists turned up just to enjoy the act of drawing together, done on a shoestring, no public funding, advertised by word of mouth and social networking. It was also good that so many members of the public were able to see artists at work. We’re usually closeted away in our studios, houses, garden sheds and garrets.

4 Responses to “The Vulnerable Artist And The Great Big Draw”

  1. The Blithering Idiot January 8, 2012 at 15:20 #

    How absolutely cool. Reminds me of the art-energy and “happenings” I had in college.

  2. Patricia G McParlin January 8, 2012 at 11:26 #

    This is fantastic Rosie….Speaking as someone who was forced to remove an installation piece from their own gallery, by their so called artist colleagues and friends, I am painfully aware of what can happen if the artist challenges the ‘norm’….and questions the ‘groupthink’ of any authority…including hippies!!!…the thought police can be where you least expect them…and this came as a shock to me… Thanks for your post…Px

    • Rosie Scribblah January 8, 2012 at 21:09 #

      How awful for you – I try to avoid organised groups if it’s possible. You’re right, it’s surprising where censorship can come from.

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