On Sunday 30 September over 13,000 people took part in the Big Draw, Big Make events at the V&A in a frenzy of sketching, scribbling, stenciling and stiching! The day focussed on showing how important drawing is for design and got visitors involved by giving everyone a portfolio, pencil and paper to go out into the galleries and get creative.
There were chances aplenty to listen to talks from some leading designers and illustrators.Richard Seymour, co-founder of Seymourpowell, a leading product design and innovation company, drew live on stage not knowing what the outcome would be. Gerald Scarfe talked about his varied career from working on Disney productions to Pink Floyd’s epic concept album, The Wall. The brilliant Quentin Blake showed design related elements in his illustrations, including Mrs Armitage’s exciting experiments as she tries to create the perfect motorbike. Peter Ayres, architect at Heatherwick Studio, demonstrated how rough sketches and diagrams communicate ideas and act as the important starting point for creativity.
There were drawing and making activities taking place throughout the Museum as visitors found peaceful corners to sketch or lie on the floor in crowded galleries to perfect their masterpieces. For those who were fashion minded, Nina Chakrabarti gave inspiration for new shoe designs and there were fashion illustration workshops in the newly opened Fashion Gallery, where visitors could go wild with creating beautiful drawings of the clothes on display.
Sara Fanelli and Petr Horacek got everyone together to create illustrations for a book or a collective picture. Architects Penoyre & Prasad gave visitors a cardboard shapes to draw on and add to a communal ever-growing structure, whilst Seymourpowell got people looking at the objects in the Medieval and Renaissance galleries for inspiration for a contemporary fountain design.
In the Ceramics Galleries visitors created cup, plate and teapot designs to add to a massive dresser that was overspilling by the end of the day! The Tapestry Gallery was filled with busy people stitching a large collective embroidery. The embroidaries on display would have taken years to create, but despite everyone only having a few hours to add to the collective tapestry, some wonderful designs were made, and as they say, “Many hands make light work!”.
In the Raphael Gallery members from West Dean College gave tapestry weaving demonstrations as well as showing how ‘cartoons’ are used in weaving (not the Spongebob Squarepants sort, but ones like these…). For those who wanted to create in 3D, there was the opportunity to create contemporary furniture designs using matchboxes and card, or a Mister Maker crown.
Digital activities included still life drawing with iPads, using the latest drawing and ‘painting’ apps, as used in David Hockney’s latest shows. Using the New Art Academy on the Nintendo 3DS XL visitors could draw new exciting designs and pictures which were then printed out to create a digital art gallery around the room.
One of the many highlights of the day was the Battle of the Cartoonists, where six teams of cartoonists from national newspapers competed to create a topical cartoon inspired by the Raphael pictures. Visitors voted on cartoons to choose an overall winner and Libby Purves did a great job of compering the proceedings.
This was the national launch of the Big Draw and to find out more about drawing events happening by you organised through the Campaign for Drawing visit: www.bigdraw.org
There were some great comments from visitors, here are a few:
“We loved having an opportunity to draw at the V&A because we are always inspired here, so it is really fun to be able to get involved”
“Everyone was enabled and inspired to create something of their own”
“We liked the environment and offering. We went to three workshop events”
“The children were 100% focused on the task”