sipping coffee was at the top of my list of things to do this morning. the morning after the opening of #findinglines at derby museum and art gallery. i like to sip coffee. this morning was without the more usual accompaniment of saturday live on radio 4. instead the occasional rubbling of a car outside punctuated the near silence of our living room and the mindful sipping of coffee.
setting up my drawing machine became controversial almost immediately. my angling of the table in the jospeh wright study room immediately alerting the square police to the presence of something angular in the room. site specificity can be such a subtle thing.
a large part of my evening was spent listening to and talking with visitors to the exhibition opening as they engaged with and processed their response to the drawing machine. to begin with there were lots of questions connected to how and why. as the evening progressed i saw more curiosity and play emerge.
in andrea hadley johnson’s exhibition opening speech she spoke of the often frustrating nature of drawing. we saw this with the machine as visitors played with their understanding of how to create their own drawing. one visitor described the machine as “mark making without touching anything”
the opening event developed a warm freindly vibe and i started to see more adventurous interactions as the night developed. one visitor even proclaimed he’d had a really good cardio workout while playing with the drawing machine.
the other aspect of the evening i noticed was the diverse age range of the visitors. the museum continually works on developing its audience and this event was appealing to a very wide range of ages. i particularly loved the group of young people who once they had played with the machine came back several times with other friends to show them the machine and encourage playful interaction.
i loved being part of the opening event. i had lots of diverse questions about the machine and still was able to be relaxed and enjoy the whole thing. as the show of drawn images grew the diverse range of images started to become apparent. one of the common questions dealt with the nature of the images being the same.
there are some commonalities within the drawings and this reflects the commonality of how the machine is initially used.
the final image tally of the evening was 64.
i’m enjoying the process of exhibiting the drawing machine and having feedback, ideas and reactions to feed into the development of this prototype machine. i’m facilitating a session in august at the museum and i think the machine will work really well in this context.
for now i sit with a good happy feeling while i look through #findinglines on twitter. the puppy is back from her walk and stretched out on the sofa. soon i’ll return to day dreaming and looking through the window while sipping another coffee.