Improving confidence in drawing skills and being able to ‘relax’ into taking pencil to paper is something that both staff and students recognise as being key, not just in terms of skills development but for reducing anxiety and stress.
Having spent much of this academic year away from the studio, July seemed a great time to make something happen. The weather had finally improved and final submissions were out the way. With the help of Research Fellow, Edina Husanovic, Belong at Brighton funding and our SSGT, Justine Devenney some of our wonderful students organised a Drawing Workshop ….out in the sunshine.
Edina’s research is focussed on exploring the links between drawing, migration and mental health so this provided a lovely opportunity to do some drawing together.
The workshop took place in the quad at City Campus and students were invited to join in in person and online. The session focused on drawing faces, figures and plants using basic materials of paper (on wooden board), charcoal, pencils, pastels and watercolours.
Ellie Herve from BA Interior Architecture who did a fantastic job of co-ordinating had this to say.
“We used outdoor chairs and tables that were around the quad and made a circle, I brought a blanket and did my artwork on the floor. In the centre, we set up a materials table and Edina set up a still-life table. She led us through some wonderful activities – partnering up and drawing one another, then we used playdough and tried to mould our own faces with our eyes shut and we drew the result. She then led us through a sort of mental journey and asked us to draw what we felt with our eyes shut. We then did observational drawing whilst listening to an audiobook that Edina translated from Bosnian and recorded.
Everyone was really chatty and it was very comfortable – I was afraid it might be a bit awkward at first but it wasn’t at all. It was a lovely sunny day and we had Bosnian music playing in the background – I think everyone really enjoyed the chance to draw in an easy-going, guided environment.
The only improvements might be thinking about how this worked as an online activity as some participants had cameras off and only chatted occasionally, so we would like to look at how online participation could be improved. Other than that, it was a huge success and it was my pleasure to help organise it, and I hope to do similar things in the coming year”.
For more about Edina’s PhD, practice-as-research exploration into oriental dance and mythology surrounding the female Oriental Other in Europe see here (https://www.artstory.world/profile/)
Other drawing workshops can be seen on her website https://www.artstory.world/fabrika/ Most recently an online art and storytelling workshops for children https://www.artstory.world/tales-of-transformation/