Put Pen To Paper For The Big Draw This October

by Roslyn Tappenden | 06 October 2005
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A cartoon-style doodle of two people in jaunty poses

Around 350,000 people are expected to take part in the 2005 Big Draw. Image courtesy: The Campaign For Drawing.

All over the UK this weekend, October 8-9, people will be getting together to celebrate the launch of The Big Draw - a nationwide, month-long arts event aimed at encouraging people to get back to the drawing board and be more creative.

Throughout October 350,000 people are expected to take part in 1,200 workshops and events taking place at more than 1,000 venues across Britain.

The national launch took place in London on Saturday October 2 2005, when Kensington’s Exhibition Road was closed for a spectacular drawing ‘carnival’ featuring special guest cartoonists, caricaturists and other artistic performers.

This weekend is the turn of the regions. Altogether 11 more venues will be hosting their own Big Draw launch events, including Birmingham’s Aston Hall, Manchester Art Gallery and the Arnolfini in Bristol.

A photo of two people sitting outside drawing

Activities are varied and involve people of all ages. Image courtesy: The Campaign For Drawing.

“The Big Draw is a terrific way to encourage people to make art a part of their lives," said Professor Cristopher Frayling, Rector of the Royal College of Art.

“Like a lot of the best ideas, it is so simple. The Big Draw is such a good way of encouraging people to ‘have a go’ for themselves.”

A drawing workshop at the brand new Seven Stories centre for children’s books in Newcastle, hosted by Big Draw illustrators, is just one of the launch events taking place on October 8 2005. The drawings will be displayed in a special washing-line exhibition at the end of the day.

On the same day in Norwich, visitors to The Forum can contribute to two Manga cartoon projects. Using a Japanese method of visual storytelling, participants can help create a story for Norwich.

Shows two women cutting out shapes and adding them to a large collage picture

Making collages at Tate Britain. Image courtesy: The Campaign For Drawing.

Sunday – October 9 – also has a packed schedule. In Manchester, kids will be celebrating the city art gallery’s most popular painting – The Chariot Race by Alexander Von Wagner. They’ll spend the day recreating a horse race, drawn around the gallery walls.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. More doodling and drawing fun can be had right up until the end of October.

Visitors to the Back to Backs in Birmingham on Saturday, October 15, can help populate the houses with 60 life-size people, while sock-mad Scousers can join the Big Sock Draw at the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the October 15 and 16. There you can “bring a sock, design a sock, make a sock puppet and make it draw”.

On October 25 and 27 at the Thackray Museum in Leeds, visitors of all ages are invited to explore the weird and wonderful world of prosthetics. Participants will get the chance to design their own futuristic body parts incorporating gadgets and gizmos galore.

Photo of a young girl colouring in her drawing with felt-tipped pens

A young girl joins in the fun. Image courtesy: The Campaign For Drawing.

People taking part in The Art in the Dark project at the National Space Centre in Leicester will see their fluorescent and luminous artwork displayed in a darkened inflatable dome. Art In The Dark is for budding artists and novices of all ages and takes place every day from October 15 until the end of the month.

The Big Draw already has two Guinness World Records under its belt and another could well be on the way when hundreds of people are expected to help create the largest drawing ever at Knowle West Health Park in Bristol on Saturday October 15.

And visitors to Fabrica in Brighton on the same day will be able to help construct a giant drawing using natural objects.

The Big Draw event coincides with school half term. Most kids around the country will be off from Monday October 24.

Cardiff Castle is hosting a number of half-term events. On Wednesday 26, adults and children will have a chance to recreate some of the stained glass designs using charcoal and paints.

Shows a room with several groups of people gathered around tables covered in newspaper and painting materials

A busy day at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Image courtesy: The Campaign For Drawing.

On Saturday October 22 visitors to the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle will be able to make their own card games by drawing items in the museum’s collection.

Meanwhile, at W5 (whowhatwherewhenwhy) in Belfast, budding designers will be ‘drawing up a storm’ with the help of a professional illustrator. Using the weather and their own energy they will create some brand new superheroes.

Since it was launched in 2000 The Big Draw has encouraged more than a million people to try their hand at drawing in some form or other. It is organised by the Campaign for Drawing, also founded in 2000 by the Guild of St George to celebrate the centenary of its founder, John Ruskin.

This year the festival has gone global with events taking place in the Channel Islands, Thailand, France, Canada and the USA. There’s even a special activity taking place online. The Open University is hosting its third annual RoboDoodle project where you can design your own robot and upload it for all to see on the online gallery. You can join in too by visiting http://robodoodle.open.ac.uk/.

And 24 Hour Museum's Show Me website is the official Big Draw website for kids. There you can find drawing ideas and tips for children and links to all kinds of drawing events and websites.

Events will be taking place every day at museums, arts centres and libraries throughout October. A full listing is available at www.thebigdraw.org.uk.

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