First Day with Flock Together Artists – RWA Residency Day 3

I am looking forward to working alongside Sara and Debbie to help document and discuss the work they are making and the associated activities they will be taking part in throughout their project ‘Flock Together’. Over the next few months I will be adding posts to this blog as an observer, peering at the inner workings of the duo and looking at how they are working collaboratively and are challenging ideas of authorship, drawing practice and the relationship between artist(s) and their subject.

Sara sets up a drawing task for visitors to use the projector as a machine to aid drawing. Interestingly there was already a projector in the space but in comparison to Saras projection, which aids drawing vs the Project a Sketch, which projects interpretations of an intended line (not always correctly!) It begs the question what role might technology play in making drawings?

Last week I had the chance to get a sneaky peak at both artists working during their third day in residence at the RWA’s colorful Drawing Lab. It was a busy moment with a dad and his two girls and a mum with her two boys. Both families were keen to find out more about the project and were particularly fascinated by the large drawings on the floor, created by Debbie’s drawing machine.

Continue reading First Day with Flock Together Artists – RWA Residency Day 3


Welcome to our graduate artist Beckie Upton

We are delighted to confirm that Beckie Upton has joined ‘Flock Together’. Beckie is an emerging artist and recent arts graduate, who will be working with us to document our work via this blog and across social media. Beckie will also engage in research and critical writing around our collaborative practice and encourage dialogue about the project.


Working in partnership with Somerset Art Works, we are delighted to have been able to offer this graduate artist bursary to Beckie who was selected from amongst other strong submissions. We are looking forward to having Beckie’s involvement including assisting in the creation and promotion of the exhibitions in the rural Nissan Hut Barn in July and also at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in September – October. We are very excited about having Beckie on board and are looking forward having her perspective, thoughts, research and documentation  here on the blog and in return we hope to offer valuable insight and mentoring.

Beckie joined us yesterday in the Drawing lab at the RWA for our family drop-in sessions and will start posting about this and our other activities soon.

RWA Drawing Lab Family Drop-in Workshop Wednesday 8th April 2015

We were delighted to be back in the Drawing Lab at the RWA this week on Wednesday, feeling excited about the potential for our time together in the Lab over the forthcoming weeks and also triggering happy memories of our previous work there 2 years ago at the outset of our collaboration.

This time, for our first day in residence we were straight in with a family drop-in day, inviting everyone from the very young to our older visitors to ‘have a go’ with experimental drawing techniques.

As our own collaborative practice is essentially a social approach to drawing and making art, we encouraged families to create drawings together. Steph, Finlay and Doug, pictured here below, enjoyed collecting marks with graphite and transferring them to acetate to create projections which they could then develop into a large-scale wall drawing, each deciding on different media and aspects of the drawing. This is such a liberating and non-precious approach to drawing.


We are also keen to play with methods and techniques for drawing in the widest sense, encouraging participants to expand their ideas about what a drawing is and how it can be created. Josh and Katherine’s rucksack drawings shown below were created using their body motions as they walked around the gallery enjoying the main exhibition. Pens suspended in boxes carried on their backs made marks as they moved, capturing and tracking their movements – these are just a few of the experimental ideas and ideas we explored together.

josh rucksack drawing katherine rucksack drawing

Layering is a central process within our collaborative works and we are always keen to find ways to deconstruct and explain our approaches to viewers, so being back in the Drawing Lab again in a public space is a great opportunity to test some ideas. Using webcam footage from one of our farm visits, we projected the resulting film footage through a Perspex screen and using chalk pens, captured different stills and sections of the video in layers on the clear Perspex, allowing the video and the drawn layers to be visible all together. We enjoy working in collaboration ourselves with the visitors too.

drawing on transparent screendrawing on transparent screen 2

Look at all those colours! So different to our usually muted palette in our larger collaborative works – I wonder where this might lead? We loved all the different media and gizmos available to play with in the Drawing lab in addition to our own resources which we brought along. The giant ‘Etch-a-Sketch’ kept us amused and really tested hand-eye co-ordination! There’s plenty of starting points for self-directed drawings for anyone at any time to sit down and have a doodle in the lab whether an artist-in-residence is there or not too.

doug - steph - finlay

And, as it was a beautifully hot and sunny afternoon, the Drawing Lab became quieter as the afternoon went on and we took the opportunity to get going on working on some of our own collaborative works, which is what we’ll be up to there again next week on Wednesday too – happy days!

sara Debbie

For full details of the days we’ll be back in residence in the Drawing Lab, check the RWA website here: and click the link to the timetable of artists working in the space.

Drawn exhibition and artist residency at the RWA, Bristol

We are looking forward to starting our collaborative artist residency at the RWA in Bristol in April and May, during the Drawn exhibition (21st March – 7th June).

image 1

We are going to be working in the Drawing Lab on Wednesdays, sometimes running specific workshops for schools and families, but on other days just treating the gallery space as our studio, to discuss and produce our collaborative works.  The Drawing Lab is open to all visitors to the Drawn exhibition and so people can observe what we’re up to and join in if they feel like it!

Continue reading Drawn exhibition and artist residency at the RWA, Bristol