We led our collaborative drawing project


We led our collaborative drawing project at the NPG for the Big Draw this weekend.  An idea made from our joint fascination with drawing that has been growing from sustained exposure to long breaks and coffee over the last year.

The plan was to take the idea of a continuous line drawing.  Starting from the first drawing, lines that led off the page were caught up and followed onto new drawings so that the image bled out and began to follow a strange path around the Victorian Gallery, into the corridor and onto the balcony.

The rules were simple but few as the song goes.  It had to be a viewpoint within the gallery and we used only graphite pencils trying to follow the rules of a drawing made of a continuous line in the drawing itself.  After that, we let it go to over 100 people, some of whom stayed for five minutes and others half an hour. 

We had talked lots about seeing how these different spaces were drawn and what surfaces and objects caught the eye.  We wondered how the very disparate spaces would be responded to and whether viewpoints would change. 

Added to that, with drawing I end up thinking about the quite physical relationship between the eye and the hand.  I force myself not to redraw a line once its made making drawing a temporal activity.  I am drawing as opposed to this is my drawing even when I’ve finished or as if you could count time by the lines that are made and so measure the time that you occupied the space.

There is a use to this, but I’m working it out.

But in the gallery it was the noise that surprised me.  Not just the talking but as if by following the line of someone else’s viewpoint and carrying it into their own drawing each drawing spoke to each other of shared or disparate experiences that were more complex and interesting than ‘and this is the corridor and this is the contemporary gallery’.   

Charlotte stayed all day to photograph it and she’ll edit it as we’re planning on staging this in other spaces.  We photographed it backwards taking off one drawing at a time to the last four that Emma and I had started at the beginning. 

And I may be a sentimental artist, but the gallery definately got quieter.