The world’s largest drawing and visual literacy festival and this year its theme ‘Drawn to Life’ celebrates and explores the benefits of being actively creative to make positive change and improve wellbeing.
The festival brings people together to champion the ever increasing evidence, both anecdotal and academic, that a more creative life really can improve your health.
Live art sessions hosted by artists Fiona Candy and Atlantic Contemporary, will run informally throughout the afternoon. Join the Big Draw with the Friends of Winckley Square on Saturday 12th October for ‘HUMAN-NATURE’ at The Artistry House, 16 Winckley Square, Preston. The Artistry House doors will be open from 12 – 4 and you are welcome to pop in at any time during the afternoon to be inspired by art and explore the house. You are invited to participate and explore your creative side with live art sessions on portraiture and inspired by nature.”
Please note art places will be limited and provided on a first come first serve basis.
Join us for a companionable, creative group walk through Avenham and Miller Parks, for the Big Draw and Preston Arts Festivals.
During the walk we will introduce simple ways to tune in to and be inspired by our surroundings: the atmosphere and sensory qualities. We will draw, write and make, as we trace our movement through the park, working together to experience and experiment, using materials provided.
Each walk lasts about 2 hours. Places are limited.
The Big Draw event info is here for Saturday October 5th 2019, 14:00 – 16:00 and book at Eventbrite here: here
The Big Draw event info is here for Sunday October 13th, 10:00 – 12:00 and book at Eventbrite here:
A series of other guided walks on a range of topics, organised by the Friends of Winckley Square, will wander and weave through the centre of Preston, during the first three weeks of October 2019 as part of Preston Arts Festival.
Quotation by Paul Klee, from his Pedagogical Sketchbook, first published in 1925.
Examples of pages from Paul Klee’s pedagogical sketchbook, above.
Recently I’ve been drawing in response to experiences of walking through Preston’s city centre parks. On these walks I made my way intuitively, without any plan and sketched out routes and perceptual aspects as I moved along, using pencil line at first. I added to these very rough drawings later and made others from memory. I then combined elements and developed the drawings digitally.
I developed my own form of walking notation – (see earlier blog posts for more detail) and use it to trace and transcribe the walking activities.
As well as the work of Paul Klee, music and dance notation have been strong influences.
Above: small sections of walk ‘notation’ from my sketchbook
Above; John Cage music score
Above: a ‘Hornpipe’, an example of Baroque dance notation
These drawings are not conceived as ‘maps’ or diagrams in a conventional sense: no relationship to compass points or the relative scale of pathways or other features encountered in the park were considered. Rather, the drawings are expressions of spatial, embodied memories, of sensing and moving through ephemeral qualities of landscape.
The video above is a raw edit of serendipitous moments captured via my iPhone when I attended an Instameet at ‘PEOPLE’, a temporary, ground level art installation by artists Low Profile. The PEOPLE artwork is part of celebrations to mark 50 years of Preston’s Bus Station, which was built in 1969 in the Brutalist architectural style.
The Instameet was organised by local curatorial partnership, In Certain Places. An exhibition called ‘Beautiful and Brutal: 50 Years in the life of the Bus Station’ will take place in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, in Preston, Lancashire, later in the year.
From my archive: a selection of digital images made following a trip to China, where I have merged antique textile finds with other moments and memories from my journey. Blurring boundaries between time and place.
Boy in Summer Palace Beijing, wearing stitched applique tee shirt. Embroidered section of a Tujia woman’s garment from Guizhou Province, Qing Dynasty, early 20th Century. Shanghai Museum Costume Collection.
Image below: ‘Cryptic Messaging’
Communicative and mysterious English language texts seen on teeshirts – a mass fashion phenomenon. One written in 1812 by Ludwig Von Beethoven in Teplitz; worn, read and photographed on The Bund, Shanghai, more than two hundred years later. Buddhist symbols on Qing dynasty woven textile from Shanghai Museum.
Image: ‘On weft to Hangzhou’
Photograph of motorway, taken from the train to Hangzhou. Qing Dynasty woven textile.
Continuing my time travel: I undertook visual experiments, aiming to trigger comparisons to social attitudes, opportunities and expectations of young people, past, present and future.
The images shown here use digital technique to merge photographs of late 19th/ early 20th century cotton production and child millworkers in US, with components taken from recent media coverage of 21st century youth protest.
Thanks to Lewis Hine for his memories of doffers, spinners and scavengers…
I attended Art Basel in Switzerland, in June 2018. This huge art show takes place at the Swiss exhibition site Messe Basel, which features a hall designed by international architects Herzog & de Meuron. (Exterior view of Messe Basel, above).
Highlights of our trip included a visit to the ‘Bacon – Giacometti’ show at Fondation Beyeler, which studied the parallel, creative careers of two of the 20th century’s most influential artists. See more here.
Below: a view of the stunning interior of the Neubau, Kuntsmuseum, designed by local architects Christ & Gantenbein.
Above: Sam Gilliam’s ‘The Music of Colour’ at the Neubau.
Above- In the old town.
Thank you to Li Rui for making the trip possible and for being such a stimulating companion.
Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.”
C.G. Jung, 1938.
Through his study of the unconscious, the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung defined the shadow as the unknown, dark side of personality: part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, perceived shortcomings, as well as instincts, creative impulses and sources of renewal. He considered that the shadow side can be positive or negative and is prone to psychological projection, where people may see their own insecurities as flaws in others. Jung believed these projections can both protect and damage individuals by acting as a constantly thickening veil of illusion between the ego and the real world. Some Jungians maintain that the shadow also holds the shadow of society, fed by neglected and repressed collective values.
Image: exhibition views: a timeline, looking forward and back…
I developed a series of digital images as interpretations of Jung’s theory of the shadow. I exhibited a selection of these at University of Central Lancashire in May 2018, following an AA2A residency.
I selected photographic portraits found in late 1940’s fashion publications, and interpreted their vintage aesthetic as links to past lives, to experiences of war and the period of optimism and creativity that followed. Using Photoshop technique, I added and altered, to juxtapose components in surreal montage. I drew on other Jungian archetypes as well as the shadow, such as: the ‘apocalypse’, ‘heroine’, ‘trickster’, ‘mother’ and ‘maiden’. Jung suggested that archetypes are inherited potentials: universal patterns, or models of people, behaviour, personality, that can be triggered within the psyche.
Envisioning the ambiguous presence of the shadow side, opens up perceptions of its existence not just within individuals, but on an exponential scale within contemporary cultural phenomena. Social media, News, Big Data, surveillance, democracy, globalisation, consumerism, are dynamic, mass channels where the collective unconscious is both active and susceptible.
Visitors could use headphones to access the audio component. Reference to selected popular American songs, once sung by female style icons of the era, crossed the senses to convey bygone ideology, emotional mood and atmosphere.
The song lyrics infer connections as well as subtle differences between ‘now’ and ‘then’ in personal relationships, social values, attitudes and aspirations.
Particular examples from the era can be seen and heard at YouTube:
The 2018 centenary celebrations of women’s suffrage brought a timely context in which to review the ongoing female r-evolution: to reflect on progress in the realms of gender equality, social relationships and individual purpose. I aimed that the merging of temporalities would provoke reflection and ensuing conversations around the ways that personal and social lives have changed – and are still changing.
Is there a possibility to assess the darkness of the 21st century female’s shadow: our collective veil of illusion? Will there continue to be nothing but blue skies, from now on? If we use imagination to reach across the boundaries that define the passage of time to ask questions, what might the young women I have pictured, born in 1920’s and 30’s, most value, dislike, or fear about life now: if they were still young today?
These are digital collage experiments referencing the perception of landscape and the mutability of atmosphere. The series employs alchemical glyphs, the geometry of viewpoint, direction and interconnection. Outcomes range from digital prints to experimental forms.
A selection is shown below:
See more about the development of this project at AA2A here