Dover Big Draw Doodle Jam at Biggin Hall


Over 60 drawers and doodlers of all ages came along to Biggin Hall to doodle to live music played by Mick Morris and Clive Fletcher on the second day of the October 2019 half-term.

Artists living and working locally,  Chris Burke, Simon Bill, Claire Manning, Nicola Dunsbee and Nina Telegina, were on hand to inspire and help as were DAD’s directors Clare and Joanna together with Petra Matthews-Crow.

Many thanks to The Dover Town Council and The Dover Big Local for supporting this event and Freyja Matthews-Crow for her inspired graphic design for the poster.

This year’s Big Draw Festival aimed to encourage events and conversations around the role of mark making and drawing – in its widest possible interpretation, as a life-enhancing tool not only to help express and navigate the challenges of life around us but also as a tool for healing. 

Drawing is a universal language and 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.

The power of drawing was in evidence during the day and is reflected in what participants wrote in the comments book:

  • Lovely morning doing colouring and listening to music
  • Good tables with paper and different stuff; good music
  • Good drawing atmosphere; amazing opportunity to draw for people; very welcoming
  • Lovely event for everyone. The music sets a nice atmosphere and everyone joining in to draw brings everyone together. Thank you
  • Really fun and relaxing
  • Very exciting and joyful
  • Lovely sense of community spirit. Thank you
  • What a lovely creative day out
  • This was really fun. Thank you
  • Thank you for such a creative, musical day. So pleased we stumbled upon this
  • Thank you for this fantastic experience. We enjoyed drawing together.
  • Thank you. It was fun.
  • Smashing live music, really added to the happy relaxed atmosphere; So nice to sit, chill & doodle!!
  • Great fun to draw in such wonderful company
  • An amazing turnout. It’s a wonderful experience to sit with new people and create. Doodling frees the mind.
  • I had a great time and I think that drawing really helps express your mind and helps you calm when you’re angry.
  • Enjoyed a great time drawing at the Big Draw
  • So fun except when you’re hungry! Though everything else is wonderful.
  • A lovely event as always! So pleased that the idea of the Doodle Draw was adopted. The music was great! Thanks
  • Thank you for letting me draw. I thought it was fun.
  • A lovely chance to relax and enjoy being creative with my children. We leave the big draw feeling…. happy! Peaceful. And we will make sure we continue to draw this holiday. Thank you!
  • Thank you for five minutes of creative see + permission not to be ‘perfect’
  • Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I hope there will soon be more.
  • Thank you for today. It has been good fun. My son loves to draw.
  • I have unleashed my inner child; got my colourful freak on and had the most splendid time! Thank you!