We took the time to linger with the works and to see if there was anything new when we redrew. Children are told they are good artists if they can accurately draw a copy of a photo and colour inside the lines. Not necessarily bad but it should not be the only thing they learn to do in art. My first response in drawing is to find satisfaction if it looks like the thing I am looking at. I am learning to undo that child constraint. At the Friday morning group art session last week we took time to respond to a work from the Marie Ellis Drawing prize collection at Jugglers. [Three works] The only direction was: “Respond on paper to one of the works over the next 10 minutes.” This exercise has a spiritual and artistic dimension to it. My experience of this discipline is an expansion of understanding of the work, the artist and myself. And these things that emerge in the time given to the drawing exercise, begin to deepen when, as we did last week, the exercise and personal experience of the redraw are shared in the group. In this world of fast feed information overload and stimulation [aka Smart Phone/Tablet] this intentional slow down with a group of young men [and me] was not impossible but embraced and almost transportive. We found threads of connection to new understandings in the story telling and more group cohesion. Finding a rhythm of rest in our madness is critical for recalibration of the mind and spirit and one way of finding our own path. This exercise of redrawing works in a gallery is easy enough. Visual over-stimulation and incessant busyness needs a corrective and this exercise is worth the effort as a regular discipline for personal and group renewal.
[Image: Winning work 2012 Marie Ellis Prize for Drawing by Peter Kozak]