Sculptures captured in charcoal

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Angelica Vanasse is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in MRes Art & Design (Curatorial Practice) at Liverpool John Moores University.  Angelica recently lead a drawing workshop at the Walker Art Gallery and is here to tell us how it went. You can see more photos of the group and their work on Flickr.
Woman sketching a sculpture

Image courtesy of Angelica Vanasse and Robert Flynn

My research involves looking at the role of participants in art galleries, using the gallery as an immersive space for experiencing and interpreting artwork. Using the Walker Art Gallery’s sculpture collection as inspiration, I lead sculpture drawing workshops to explore this concept.

At one session, I gave the group a variety of tools and techniques that they could use during the workshop.  With pencil, graphite, charcoal, conte crayon and a variety of papers, the group spread out in the gallery to begin their creative investigation.  It was fascinating to see the varied ways in which all of the participants were negotiating their drawings. 

I worked with them on a one-on-one basis to help with their drawings, which included mapping out the drawings, investigating proportions and creating shading.  To help with breaking away from rigid focus, we also spent some time on gesture drawings with quick poses. 

I’ve discovered that using drawing as a way to interpret artwork encourages participants to look more carefully at the work around them and think about how it is made, as a way to create their own work. The session went really well - here are some of the comments from the group:

“I’d always thought sculpture was quite static and peaceful, but using different techniques - especially fast ones - creates an energy.  It must be similar to what a sculptor can visualize in a block of stone.”

“It made me look at items in more detail and appreciate form, light, lines, etc.  I enjoyed trying something semi-abstract.  I would love to come to another one!”

A huge thanks to the education team and gallery staff at the Walker Art Gallery for assisting in making this possible, as well as the wonderful participants who attended!