Reg Vardy Gallery Wants Pictures Of Peoples' Souls

By Graham Spicer | 15 January 2007
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pencil drawing of a buddha like face

Ge You Dol Ma. Photo Reg Vardy Gallery

A Sunderland gallery is asking people to delve deep into themselves and send in pictures of their souls to be included in a forthcoming book.

Anyone can send in drawings of what they imagine or believe their souls look like to the Reg Vardy Gallery, part of the University of Sunderland, until January 31 2007.

Hundreds have already been collected from all over the world and displayed on the Soul project’s website, A selection of 500 drawings will be published in a book due to be published this spring and later be exhibited worldwide.

“It is a community drawing programme working with Satellite Arts in New York who started the project in 1998,” said Reg Vardy curator Natalie Frost.

“The curator there has been collecting these drawings and now with the website we have been able to collect them from all over the world.”

pencil drawing of abstract shapes and squiggles

Adele Bradley. Photo Reg Vardy Gallery

The project aims to be a testament to cultural vitality and creativity and to unite people of different nationalities, religions or ethnicity.

Respondents have interpreted their souls in many different ways, said Natalie, and the gallery has worked with partners in several different countries to help collect the drawings.

“People have been able to think about it in quite an abstract way … Lots of people have drawn animals and there are lots of portraits and landscapes as well. People are asking questions about what their soul actually is.”

There is no restriction on what people can draw, but they must use only black pencil on a plain white sheet of A4 paper.

pencil drawing of a ring of concentric sketched circles

Juliet Hardy. Photo Reg Vardy Gallery

“We ask that people just draw in pencil so that anyone from any financial background can get involved,” explained Natalie.

The gallery also asks that no words, including the contributor’s name, appears on the front of the drawing, so that a language barrier is not created.

Plans are in place for an exhibition of the drawings to visit New York, Africa, Bangladesh, Japan and England and a selection of the images made by Sunderland residents were recently illuminated in a large-scale projection as part of the city’s SHINE festival in December 2006.

To find out how to get involved with the project visit the Draw Your Soul website, or call Natalie Frost on 0191 5152128 at the Reg Vardy Gallery to request an application pack.

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