The Drawing Exchange is an ongoing independent artist project by Kayle Brandon and Lady Lucy, predominantly exploring drawing experiences in social, participatory and public contexts with the aim to enable collective and personal enquiry into experimental process led drawing methods.
The Drawing Exchanges key aims are to:
~ Create public and social drawing experiences
We are committed to creating non-exclusive access to the drawing exchange, using publicity methods and non-specialist language to encourage people from diverse backgrounds, diasporas and ages to feel welcome to attend. The majority of the exchanges are free and we emphasise that people are welcome to attend regardless of drawing ability.
~ Work in public spaces and venues
We seek to extend out of established art contexts and into the public domain, we are interested in the theoretical notions and the physical reality of public space.
We have held events in scrap yards, cafes, forests, caves, streets, graveyards, council chambers etc.
~ Create an ‘event’ in contrast to a workshop
The exchanges are ‘events’ not classes or workshops, participants are encouraged to suggest routes of enquiry and effect the structure of the event. We are interested in opportunities for collective ‘drift’, the drawing exchange has a sense of the performative in affiliation with pschogeography and ‘happening’. Something interesting takes place when you become a group of public observational drawers, incidental witnesses become compelled to question our presence.
~ champion participatory, process led experiences and social exchange
We are interested in the premise that participants are creative agents within the process, we encourage the value of process and an openness to exchange, after each exercises we collectively look at and discuss the drawings and finally we invite the participants to swap or exchange their drawings.
~ Create drawing exercise which merge traditional and experimental drawing methodologies
As ex-art students we both recall the ‘drawing exercise’ as art educational tool intended to loosen the observers perception and application. We are interested in the legacy of drawing exercises and view them as potential art forms in themselves. Part of the work is to create experimental drawing exercises that aid ways of seeing and question what is a valid starting point for drawing. In this respect we draw inspiration from the surrealist movements drawing games.
~ Use the process of drawing to explore contemporary and contextual questions
The drawing exercises are also contextual tools that enable an eclectic exploration of subject. We are interested in weaving and revealing history, politics, fiction, and the facts of the chosen site or subject of enquiry.
~ Invite collaboration, partners and cross-discipline
Partnership with cultural and social organisations, is an essential part of support for the drawing exchange. To date we have worked with amongst others : Art School Alternatives, Symposium at Liverpool Biennial, Spike Island Bristol, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Club Shepway, Fokestone and Islington Mill, Manchester.
We are keen to invited artists, specialists and interested parties to led or be essential parts of exchange events. In 2007 in partnership with Spike Island we invited botanical illustrator Claire Dalby to led an exchange focusing on the art of botany, In 2008 we worked Bristol based music festival Venn, creating drawing events alongside music concerts, in 2009 we ran an ambitious 10 day festival where we invited 10 artists to respond to the drawing exchange framework participating artists included; Laura Oldfield-Ford, Andrew Mania, Anna Lucas, Marcia Farquhar.
~ Create an artist body of work out of the event documents.
The Drawing exchange is event based, in light of this we consider what works could arise from such a platform. We are interested in producing publications, printed material and exhibitions that can represent the drawing exchange artefacts; the drawings, exercises, research and conversations. In 2009 The drawing exchange festival resulted in an accumulative installation of drawings ending in a final exchange event, where people bartered for drawings and exchanged them in a number of ways swapping songs, cans of coke dance, clothes, money and drawings for drawings.