A few weeks ago, the culture engagement initiative sector of the University of Birmingham organised a quirky charity event called ‘The Drawing Factory’. Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Bobby Nixon (both artists in residence), as well as equally creative students, kitted out in boiler suits, drew on a make-shift ‘production line’, which encouraged the viewer to consider wider questions surrounding the creation and nature of art.
Staff and students were encouraged to purchase drawings of their choice for a mere pound, or alternatively to request a commission for two pounds, with all proceeds raised going to LUCIA, a charity that works towards improving lives in troubled and impoverished areas of Africa. Visitors were even able to sit in a dedicated drawing space amongst scattered sheets of paper and colouring pencils and participate themselves, with themes such as ‘the national rail’ and ‘your favourite celebrity’ thrown around to help spur creativity. My inability to put pen to paper meant I could only produce a narwhal, although it seemed to impress one of the slightly wacky coordinators, and was slotted into the purchase section (probably out of kindness), along with the official artists’ and students’ works. Result!
Two Art History students, Chloe Lund and Lauren McInerney were involved in the event, and I purchased three drawings, one of Lauren’s sketchy cat, one of a 1920’s Daisy Great Gatsby lookalike, and lastly one of a charming elephant with an umbrella, as shown below.
Although occupying an intimate space in the corner of the iLounge, the event was greatly attended, and really brightened an otherwise dreary few hours spent looking wistfully out of the window in the library.