Drawing Act V: Ayesha Feisal

October 2022 - November 2022

Drawing Act V, Along the line, In the Space, is the latest in a series of live projects that connect artists with local community groups, bringing new and alternative perspectives to our exhibition programme.  

The exhibition FIGURE/S: Drawing After Bellmer, explored the body as a site of liberation, oppression, and pleasure through the work of Hans Bellmer (1902 – 1975) and other artists from around the world.  In connection to this, we commissioned Ayesha Feisal to lead Drawing Act V, who’s work begins with the body and it’s relationship with the psyche, through large scale female figures brought to life with bold, primary colours and symbols.  

During October and November, 2021,  Ayesha worked with South London Maudsley's NHS Women’s Ward, alongside peer support workers, Anna Geissman (MA Dance and Movement Psychotherapy and Deirdre McGale (practicing artist). The book, The Body Holds the Score, (2014), formed the impetus for this project, whereby we discussed the relationship between body and trauma. Ayesha split the sessions into three themes; the body, symbols and colour. Each week a new theme was introduced, encouraging the women to form their own language and explore new techniques. The ward contained a joyful atmosphere with music, making and experimentation.  Each session began with a movement activity led by peer support worker, Anna, to warm up and reconnect with the body. 

The project blurred lines between staff and patient, and manifested an atmosphere of collaboration, creativity, and community. In the last 2 weeks the women brought together their ideas and work made, creating a final piece that was shared in an intimate exhibition at the ward.  The project will culminate into a publication designed by Ayesha, gifted back to those involved and kept in our Outset Study Library, archiving the projects legacy.  

“We would be excited for the Saturday to come and would be drawing in our rooms after. I found a love for drawing that I didn’t know I had. Being part of the project, I felt part of society and the outside world again ”    (Participant, 2021 ) 

“I like the simplicity of the line work to draw the body, as it is so complex. This way allows your mind to wander” (Participant, 2021)  

Funded by the Bridget Riley Art Foundation and Southwark Council Neighbourhood Fund