Artists Kathy Herbert and Dorothy Smith, 8 – 12 July 2014, Draiocht, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Walking/Drawing, a collaborative drawing and research project took place in the external spaces of Blanchardstown Town Centre (BTC) and in the gallery space of Draiocht Arts Centre 8 – 12 July 2014. Its aims were to bring drawing out of the private space of studio into the public realm and to push the parameters of drawing; exploring its possibilities as a process of engaging with place.
The design and construction of BTC allow a limited number of roles; a place primarily designed for the ‘consumer’. All roads to BTC, all signage, car parks, walkways, hard and soft landscaping leads to the retail hubs. Attempted alternative explorations of this environment tested these spaces and opened up possibilities for other experiences. The artists resided in the large gallery space Draiocht for five days and used alternative ambulatory explorations of the external spaces of BTC as the basis of their 8×2.5m drawing, mounted on the wall of the gallery. Being open to the public allowed the display of process and led to interaction and conversations. Workshops for teenagers and adults in exploring public space through walking and drawing and a public talk/discussion were important aspects of the residency.
The artists found developing work in an open setting, interacting and conversing the public challenged preconceived ideas of ‘edgetown’ and delivered very different work than that created in a more typical ‘closed’ studio setting. The artists also found drawing, an ‘analogue’ process in a digital age an immersive and inclusive tool for the exploration of place.