Design for bookcases and fireplace in the library of Sudley House, circa 1882
When you think about it, everything man-made has at some point been “drawn”. From the design of road signs to the largest buildings, someone has put pencil to paper and come up with an idea.
Take the image here, it's a plan of the bookcases and fireplace at Sudley House, and was probably drawn up around 1882 - 1884 for George Holt when he redecorated the property. This drawing, however, differs from what Holt finally chose. He kept the bookcases on either side of the fireplace, but decided to abandon the large, ornate over-mantle, finally settling for something a lot less "in your face". The finished design is far more subdued and refined.
Ever since mankind picked up a charred stick and pressed it against a cave wall, drawing has become an essential tool for thinking, inventing and communicating. Drawing can help us share ideas, and can make those ideas visible. Drawing is perfect for observation and enables us to investigate the world around us. The writer, painter and sculptor Frederick Franck once wrote:
“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realise how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle!”
As Franck states, drawing can help us “see” the little things around us, the things that we might miss with just a cursory glance.
The Big Draw is an annual series of national events that run throughout October. The simple aim is to get everyone drawing! The theme this year is “Draw tomorrow”, and National Museums Liverpool are holding activities and workshops to celebrate the marvellous medium of drawing. If you’ve a passion for drawing or even if you think “I can’t draw”, why not come along and take part.
For more information about The Big Draw, you can visit The Campaign for Drawing website.