I was invited to host, design and deliver a three-hour drawing workshop in November 2019 as part of the cross-college drawing programme based at the RCA’s Garden House building in White City, London.
The overarching remit of the drawing programme was to offer different models and approaches to drawing. The drawing programme drew from the breadth and range of RCA staff working from their research practices and disciplines and was accessible to students from all schools and programmes and level of study at the RCA.
The approach I chose was to investigate the nature of hand and eye connectivity through drawing, looking at how both the observed and experience and remembered could be viewed and approaches through various medium and process-based lenses.
Participants engaged with various drawing exercises focusing on found plastic fragments of toys and games. The notion of the fragment as a starting point draws on practices as diverse as archaeology, pathology and forensics, yet still rooted in analytical and expressive drawing.
Participants explored form, material and the possible taxonomy of the fragments through responding to given, shared and self-selected plastic elements and working as a group passing the fragmented objects around. Together we explored quick succession systemic approaches to information and experience collection, exchange, and categorisation. Approaches to blind drawing, working purely with touch as a reference point, then established methodologies like using the non-familiar hand and continuous line approaches grounded in art school traditions.
The drawings all happened on single sheets of A1 paper, with the drawings overlapping and merging, a practice established in Surrealist drawing games of the 1920s and visual languages associated with ideation through the sketchbook and design sheet.
The outcomes allowed students to engage with and reflect on the known, familiar and unknown in relation to their prior studies, subject and practice-based focus. The session ended with a discursive open critique. It was fantastic to see students’ approaches across a range of disciplines and practices and the shared enquiry into cross-disciplinary practice embedding the pedagogy and community dynamic of the Royal College of Art.