Drawing Acts

Drawing Act III

Charmaine Watkiss

Drawing Act III is a project led by Charmaine Watkiss with Young Girlz Matter – a self-formed group of students from UAE Secondary School.

Like many of the artists included in Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium, Charmaine is interested in using ritualistic and meditative processes of drawing to respond to the current social and political climate. Over the duration of the exhibition, she has been leading practical workshops to uncover unconscious and personal responses.

Charmaine created a supportive environment and allowed the young women to escape into drawing as an outlet. For the challenges present for young people growing up through this period, drawing was used to nurture mindfulness, wellbeing, and self-expression, which there is often little space for in the school environment.

Over several weeks, a sense of collaboration grew in the group, as they worked fluidly across their own and each other’s drawings. The last session was held during half term, when they came voluntarily to Drawing Room, to continue drawing and voicing opinions about their experiences and reflecting on the images which came out, as if from nowhere – ‘I don’t know what I am doing but I like it.’

Charmaine Watkiss holds an MA in Drawing, from the UAL Wimbledon College of Art and was shortlisted for the Womxn of Colour Art Award 2020. Recent exhibitions include The Abstract Truth of Things, Tiwani Contemporary, 2020; Me, Myself and I, Collyer Bristow Gallery, 2020; Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, 2019; Against Static, Wimbledon Space, 2018.

Thank you to all involved:

Amira Ayim, Batesba Bassano-Giusti, Faith Adewusi, Hope Adewusi, Lucy Eckersley, Malika Saidou, Maria Michalak and Ruth Agho, Young Girlz Matter

Barbara Lassey, Teacher, UAE Secondary School

Betsy Dadd, Learning Curator, Drawing Room

Charmaine Watkiss, Artist

Hannah Dalton, Teacher, UAE Secondary School

Sheyamali Sudesh, Learning Coordinator, Drawing Room