Drawing In Social Space




Drawing in Social Space is an exhibition that encompasses projects that took place during Drawing Room’s period of gallery closure. It is a knowledge exchange partnership between Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London and Drawing Room – a series of projects connecting BA Fine Art students, Drawing Room’s local community partners and artists/collectives from outside of the UK including the Bolivian activist collective Mujeres Creando, Amsterdam-based Russian artist Gluklya and Ghanaian artist Hassan Issah. An additional project extended the partnership to the University of Nevada Reno, working with Moroccan artist AZ OOR through a similar design, but outside the urban context.

‘Social Space’ refers to projects set outside traditional exhibition spaces, where participants have constituted a broad range of disciplines, interests, ages, ethnicities and nationalities. In these projects, ‘drawing’ has been re-imagined as a tool for thinking, discovery, storytelling and communication, creating new connections exploring identity, politics, mapping and place-making. Mujeres Creando, Gluklya, Hassan Issah and AZ OOR, all working remotely, were able to inspire participants with ideas and work. Ranging from primary and secondary school children, parents and babies, to university students and lecturers, transformative processes of dialogue and creativity have inspired work out in the world, building a web of encounters and networks, both locally and globally.

In the exhibition, our aim is to show ways that participants – sometimes very young, and often new to contemporary art – have engaged with the artists’ work in sophisticated ways. Drawing in Social Space has placed emphasis on collective, iterative processes leading to shared authorship. The visual outcomes have been ephemeral. Some work no longer exists,  presenting obvious challenges to a visual display. Nonetheless, the exhibition deliberately places examples of each artist/collective’s work alongside other outcomes, such as drawings, documentary photographs and project zines, as a way of demonstrating the less hierarchical ethos that has driven the project from its inception; our way of placing engagement and collaboration at the centre of how ideas, dialogue and creativity take shape.

Drawing in Social Space was conceived by Kelly Chorpening, Programme Director Fine Art, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL now Professor and Chair of Art, University of Nevada Reno and developed with Renee Odjidja, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL and Misty Ingham, Projects and Partnerships Curator, Drawing Room.

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