Drawing with movement was our second session and we introduced it by looking at artists that use bodily movement to create drawings. A record of an artists physical action. Susan Morris’ ‘Plumbline drawing’, her flicks of graphite covered thread on paper, was one of the works we looked at. This idea of creating a drawing that is a record of an artists particular quite simple action. There was some interesting comments as they considered the piece and someone compared it to a barcode.
We also looked at Tony Oricco’s body drawings. The participants were really very interested in a film we showed of Tony Orrico, laying on the floor like a human spirograph. We had some great conversation about the piece and how it is a record of his physical body.
We moved over to our working tables, where we had set up an activity with lengths of string and ink. The participants saturated their string in coloured ink and then after carefully laying them on large sheets of paper, pulled them in strokes. We had two people to one sheet. The group became very engaged with this activity and the movements became quite animated. At the end we had quite wonderfully free and playful marks left by the string. We thought some compared to a dance.
We also did an activity with ink filled balls, which was also done in pairs. In a tray they rolled the balls around the tray, trying to control them with their movement. It created much laughter and again a real physical bodily exercise.
For the second part of the session we looked at the Picasso light drawings and then set up a camera to try our own. Some people were reluctant to do this at first. I think because it was set up with the camera at the front, requiring participants to come to the front of the room to do the activity. This made it much more like a performance and a few felt quite unsure about being in this situation, particularly as they were also a little unsure about the technology.
With a little reassurance we managed to get most people to have a go but we realised quickly that there was probably a better way to do it and not make it quite so daunting, like bringing the camera to them rather than the other way round. The light drawings really required large, confident movements and this was also something that many in the group were a little reluctant to do.
It was interesting how using the technology altered the experience and created a layer of uncertainty and apprehension that was not there with the other forms of activities we had been exploring.
The session over all was a playful and energetic one with lots of conversation amongst the group. They were keen to give every task a go and for much of it were fully engaged in the processes.
Anji and I felt hugely positive following this session, going over the work and rather energised ourselves.