Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When Words Fail Me...

We all draw, whether we think it or not beyond speech and writing drawing is the fundamental human means of communication. Many of us tell ourselves as adults that we cannot draw but every time we write corrections on a handwritten note, a shopping list, a quick scrappy map of our travels or place a quick rudimentary sign on a door or wall that says “back in 5 mins”, “gone to lunch” or “wet paint” we are drawing.

The Campaign for Drawing have been encouraging us to use this valuable skill for ten years. Their current Now We Are 10 exhibition at the Idea Generation gallery collects a number of works from their supporters and patrons that are to be auctioned to raise funds for their future activities, however as well as the importance that these extra funds will make to the campaign it is worth reflecting on the sheer variety and forms of drawing that are on display, amongst the usual suspects of Quentin Blake, Steve Bell, Gerald Scarfe and Sir Norman Foster are many younger artists and illustrators. The diversity of the works on show are evident and as a viewer it would be easy to indulge ourselves by heading straight to our favourite artists works. The Campaign shows its ability to continue to enthuse and encourage us to the practice of drawing by showing the multitude of possibilities that drawing can provide. This multitude of styles and possibilities need not necessarily encourage us to draw well or better but to just pick up a pen, pencil, crayon or inky finger and communicate through drawing. It is when we see architectural sketches or elevations, satirical cartoons, life drawings and botanical studies sat side by side in this display that the endless possibilities for all of us to use even the most rudimentary forms of drawing as simple, instant and accessible means of communicating to others present themselves.

The works in this exhibition are many and varied but the quality is high considering the over one hundred works available in the auction taking place on the 17th September, with works by the likes of Adam Dant, Paula Rego and Martin Rowson and with lesser known artists donating some extremely unique and high quality works one hopes that the auction will be a success for the Campaign. As importantly though is that with the campaign’s Big Draw events continuing through October that we are encouraged to think about using the opportunities drawing provides, when speech, language and the written word fail to communicate our thoughts clearly drawing will always be the one activity that we can rely on to explain our thoughts and ideas in the widest and most accessible way.

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