It’s Our World: The Big Draw in Dover 2014


Together with local partners, we delivered two workshops in Dover under the aegis of Dover Big Local Art 31. The workshops, on Saturday 25th and Monday 27th October 2014,  took place in the Dover Discovery Centre cafe area and were free and open to everyone and the emphasis was on having ago.

As part of the annual international Big Draw event Saturday’s workshop, led by artist Tania McCormack, encouraged families to take part in creating a floating city, making clear links to the theme for 2014 ‘It’s our World’.

Tania said “it was a pleasure to be part of the Big Draw workshop in Dover.  There was a structure and a starting point for participants but it was also  flexible and allowed participants to be imaginative and playful.   The workshop was well received and from the feedback we had it is clear that more workshops are needed at the weekends for the Dover community.”

Monday’s workshop, led by artist Jools Bentley, invited families to take part in creating a giant doodle of a futuristic vision of Dover. Participants were enthusiastic in sharing their ideas for how an imagined two hundred years into the future Dover would look, which included a robot factory, a Rowing Club boat house on stilts and a portal which would transport travelers to the continent, replacing the ferries, as well as Dover’s very own Gherkin, a disco bandstand, an outdoor cinema and stage ….. The crazy creatures and robot workshop was a great success, fabulous fun to create and allowed imaginations to run wild!!! Among the crazy creatures and robots was a slugster that makes slime and a robot that turns everything multicoloured.” (Petra Matthews Crow)

Reflecting on the day Jools commented:

I was very glad to be part of this exciting event, which invited local families to drop-in for a free session of drawing activities. It was great to have so many children come along with their parents and carers and even grandparents, and to see them all having fun drawing together and designing Crazy Creatures and Robots! I was also thrilled to see everyone scrawling all over the walls on The Giant Doodle of Dover, which was a collaborative large scale drawing of a futuristic vision of Dover, with alien monsters swimming in the sea, space ships flying over the cliffs and Dover Castle shooting off in to space! I came away from the day feeling totally inspired by all of the lovely families I had met, and feeling so pleased that they all seemed to have enjoyed themselves as much as I did! (Jools Bentley)

Altogether over 120 people of all ages joined in, with many spending a couple of hours really engaged in their drawings.

Selected feedback:

  • It was great to have total freedom as my little boy could participate then.
  • My son really enjoyed drawing on the wall. He loved being able to draw anything he wanted. Once he started he did not want to leave.
  • Fantastic fun for all the family. Loved being able to give the children a huge canvas to express themselves.
  • Nice to have something lovely to do in the centre of Dover, Relaxing time for mummy and lovely to see the kids smiling and enjoying themselves being creative.
  • Really great fun, encouraged my nonparty son to creativity an engaged my daughter in an activity.
  • Brilliant workshop, really creative kids, loved getting involved. Great for all ages.
  • Excellent event to get children’s imaginations and ideas flowing.
  • How wonderful to be able to pop in to the discovery centre with my 3 year old and make something. Lovely feeling of allowance and freedom. Loved it.
  • I enjoyed it as much as the kids.
  • My children had a wonderful time. Everything was very well organised and everyone very helpful an friendly.
  • Great activity afternoon. Its so great how it’s free and all the materials are available.
  • The girls loved drawing monsters and robots.
  • My son enjoyed drawing & projecting the clock tower. He didn’t want to come but had real fun. My daughter enjoyed drawing dogs and boats.
  • The kids had a lovely time and the organisers were very enthusiastic.
  • Nice to be in Dover an have something to do with the kids.
  • To see more workshops like this would be great
  • My son did not want to leave.
  • Children loved it. Great for encouraging their imagination. Helpers very friendly and engaged the children.
  • Awesome event.
  • Lots of options, no real rules. A great chance to express ourselves.
  • Lovely opportunity for the family to enjoy drawing/creating together.
  • Brilliant staff. My son really enjoyed this. Very calming environment.


Both workshops were supported by members of the DBL Art 31 group and awareness of the Dover Big Local initiative was raised.

The event was funded by Dover Big Local and Dover Town Council.