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.


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