What is it to draw? Of only a few of the many dictionary definitions, to draw is to pull, to attract, to move in a specific direction, to extract as in expressions such as to draw attention, to draw near, to draw strength, to draw the curtains. In its meaning of to inscribe or mark to draw seems fundamentally to be to make a record of directional movement, to pull a line through space or on a surface.

Drawing has become a key feature of many DAD projects, in particular the DAD4DADS 6 Ways to Wellbeing project and the 15 drawing workshops included in our WW1 Joined Up project. Marcia Teusink will be back with our contemporary art and architecture project CHALKUP21 leading a drawing workshop at each of the buildings and public art works that feature on the trail.

The PARK BENCH video brings Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens alive through the quality and diversity of creative practitioners from the talented amateur to artists with international careers living and working in Dover and the local area. During the summer of 2018 fifty-four visual artists and poets chose a park bench in Kearsney Abbey or Russell Gardens to draw and write from. The Park Bench video has woven these works together with the addition of five musicians and three of the poets voices on the soundtrack.

Since 2014 DAD has also organised an annual intergenerational drawing event to coincide with The Big Draw with support from Dover Town Council and the Dover Big Local. This international celebration of drawing has grown from one day in October 2000 in the UK to an annual month-long festival of drawing across the the world.

The Dover Big draw 2020 showed videos from artists with ways to encourage the idea that everyone would have everything they needed to participate with no need to go out and buy something more. There were drawings using chocolate, brushes made out of twigs, monoprints using shoe polish, sphere’s made with a pencil, edible animations. Frejya Matthews-Crow  did a fantastic job bringing all the different works that were submitted together in a way that they have become something cohesive and whole.

A Kearsney Discovery, an animation for the Big Draw 2017 directed by Phil Saunders  based on a story written by Barry O’Brien inspired by a newspaper report from 1841 about a discovery in Kearsney Abbey Gardens, Dover.

As a non-verbal language, drawing has a power to transmute and evolve, adapting to each maker’s need to find a voice, meaning expression and empowerment are unsurpassable. For many it plays a key role in recovery in illness, health challenges, anxiety and times of major upheaval, loss and change.  For others it can help them re-connect with a community, combat loneliness and the sense of isolation.
Big draw website 2019

image mask

IWD Drawing Together 2021

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY 'DRAWING TOGETHER' A tribute and thank you to Clare Smith who has always made sure that drawing stays central to DAD

image mask

BIG Draw 2020

Dover Big Draw 2020 October 26th on Instagram @dover_bigdraw