Firstsite drawing event


I facilitated a drawing event at Firstsite gallery as a participatory event for the Learning team, other artists and young people. In a spirit of play, participants were invited to make their mark to transform my original drawings on a recycled large vinyl banner.

The mannequin/dummy motif is central to my practice: it is used here as a metaphor for the control and alienation of modernity. Creative mark-making can subvert our objectified selves, as presented by advertising and mass media – these banners in public space made ‘by the people for the people’ asserts some ownership of that public space ie helps define ‘culture’ once the community become part of it.

There’s a great conviviality in a group activity like this, working together for a collective vision can be an exciting spectacle in itself. When working quickly and intuitively, the usual cognitive processes (of judgement, selectivity etc) are bypassed in favour of a more direct self-expression. Participants reported that they were better able to listen and understand while they were engaged in ‘free-association’ drawing in this way.