Drawing Machine Workshops at Thelma Hulbert Gallery

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To accompany our exhibition, we have been leading workshops at Thelma Hulbert Gallery for local schools and art groups and this week, over several days, we were delighted to be joined by students from Littletown Primary, Honiton Primary and WESC Foundation for students with visual impairment. We wanted to give them a taster of our different approaches when producing our collaborative work, so they spent half their time with Sara and then half the time with me, before swapping round.

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With me, they experimented with automatic drawing techniques, by using rucksack drawing machines, programmable lego robots and the simpler, cotton-reel tanks.  We focused on the variety of marks that could be made by different movements –

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from energetic body movements whilst wearing the rucksack drawing machines,

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to the slow unwinding of the elastic band inside the cotton-reel tank, producing beads of colour at pausing points.

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Some of the Honiton Primary students devised a game whilst interacting with the lego drawing machine – which produced an intricate line drawing as it recorded the movement.

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Millie captured the movement from the rucksack drawing machines in this energetic, but delicate drawing

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and Nell and Caitlin worked collaboratively, jointly deciding which type of movements to make, to create the marks they wanted.

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The group from WESC Foundation, explored the layering aspect of our work, creating drawings that included elements from all the drawing machines and experimented with the tactile qualities of materials – making rubbings to add texture. The sounds made by the machines also inspired mark-making, from the rattling of the pens against the sides of the cardboard boxes, to the motors of the lego drawing machines.

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Lucas’ drawings incorporated layers from the cotton-reel tank machine, the rucksack drawing machine and additional frottage and reminded me of the recent lunar eclipse

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Bethanie captured different types of movement from the rucksack drawing machine in her work and layered frottage from a variety of textured surfaces

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Jago’s fascination with mechanical objects and, in particular, hand-brakes, encouraged him to experiment with drawing using line, collage and texture

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I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the students and their teachers and helpers, who enthusiastically embraced everything and made the day so much fun, producing some lovely, creative drawings.  Thanks also go to the Thelma Hulbert Gallery staff who have been brilliant, enabling us to lead these workshops in such a great space and introduce our work to the students.  Looking forward to more workshops next week, leading up to the final family drop-in Big Draw event on Saturday 17th October.


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