Drawing Room’s engagement programme makes contemporary drawing relevant and accessible to our local communities. We deliver rigorous projects that open up new methodologies and processes focused on hands-on doing, to benefit both artists and participants in meaningful ways. Through these projects, we challenge the boundaries of drawing whilst broadening the demographic of our audience.  

By connecting with nearby schools, colleges and diverse community groups we extend the role of our gallery situated in a rapidly changing neighbourhood. We have built partnerships with St Johns C of E Primary, Charlotte Sharman School, The Bridge, Southwark Women’s Space, Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers, UAE Secondary School, as well as LCC, RCA and Kingston School of Art, and continue to build further relationships with local schools and organisations. 

Over the past year we have developed and delivered two programmes – ROCK PAPER SCISSORS and Drawing Acts.

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS puts children at its centre, exploring with them what drawing can be and uncovering new ideas through this instinctive act. There are several strands to this programme, including an afterschool club, teachers' assemblies, family studios, in-school projects and holiday clubs.  

Our afterschool club invited children from neighbouring primary schools to draw, make and experiment alongside a different artist each term, as well as offering practicing artists a chance to test new ideas alongside children. By nurturing creativity and curiosity, we have witnessed the development of confidence, language and collaboration in children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the afterschool club was adapted into a postal project, where children received envelopes with drawing resources and activity sheets developed by selected artists, creating a conversation between the two and culminating in a book and postcards pack.  

Drawing Acts is a series of participatory projects that respond to Drawing Room’s exhibitions programme. Over the course of each show, a selected artist is commissioned to collaborate with a local community group, with the aim of the project being mutually beneficial for both. Each Drawing Act leads up to a publication, which documents their experiences and creative work. Printed publications are shared with the participants, artist and relevant organisations and is accessible in our library.

For more information please contact Misty Ingham, Drawing Room’s Bridget Riley Art Foundation Engagement Curator (maternity cover): [email protected] 

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS is supported by Freelands Foundation.