Drawing: Both Noun and Verb

Al Hassan Issah, Eloquence of the Wind, 2020. Installation view, Roubaix, France. Photo: Julien Pitinome.Alhassan Issah



On Monday 25 September, 6.30-8pm, co-curator Kelly Chorpening, and project artist Al Hassan Issah, will reflect upon drawing as both noun and verb within Drawing in Social Space, a series of projects connecting Fine Art students at Camberwell College of Art, Drawing Room’s local community partners and artists/collectives from outside of the UK.

For Drawing in Social Space, artists have provided ideas and inspiration for participants coming from a broad range of disciplines, interests, ages, ethnicities and nationalities. Projects placed emphasis on collective, iterative processes that encouraged dialogue and resulted in the shared authorship of work. Outcomes have been ephemeral, and some work has even been lost, thereby presenting challenges to how the project overall is presented as an exhibition.

This event will consider the stakes different constituents, such as the gallery, the educational institution, the community group, and the artist, have within projects of this kind. What sort of importance is ascribed to physical outcomes, versus more ephemeral ones? How is shared authorship understood and valued, compared to individual statements? And what can we learn from Drawing in Social Space, in terms of its critical importance to how we create and experience contemporary drawing in future?

Alhassan Issah lives and works in Kumasi, Ghana. He holds an MFA and BFA from the Department of Painting & Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Issah’s interest lies in the material and object culture in the Zongo communities, especially within Kumasi where he grew up. Seeing the material environment as a source of inspiration and investigation, he explores the language of gates, their patterns, structures, stories and journeys. His practice investigates ideas on theatricality, objecthood, and situations, whilst raising questions on what drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture could mean in our contemporary world.

Kelly Chorpening holds an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York and BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and works as an artist, curator, writer and educator. The idea for ‘Drawing in Social Space’ came from the experience co-editing A Companion to Contemporary Drawing, a volume of newly commissioned writing on contemporary fine art drawing, published by Wiley Blackwell in 2021. She was Course Leader of BA (Hons) Drawing and then Programme Director in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London and is now Professor and Chair of Art, Art History and Design at University of Nevada Reno.