Thinking through Drawing and We All Draw @UAL, The Bargehouse, London SE1


Both the Thinking Through Drawing symposium, organised by an interdisciplinary network of the same name, and the show, We All Draw @UAL, co-curated by Tania Kovats,our course leader and Kelly Chorpening of UAL Camberwell, ran from 5-8 November 2015. Our group of MA Drawing students had the opportunity to be involved in the organisation and running of the event as well as in the show itself.

I volunteered to:

  • organise an invigilation rota for the UAL show:

4 days x 11am to 6pm x 3 invigilators needed at any one time = potentially 84 slots to fill.

In the end, 48 artists who had work in the show were involved as well as MA Drawing students.

  • staff the hand-in of work:

over 100 artists + over 100 pieces of work ÷ a 3-hour hand-in with a team of 2 + one other person issuing receipts = just over 3 minutes to deal with each work.

That’s: record who had delivered what; unpack the work to check what it was; store it until it could be moved to the venue;  ensure the artist understood the hanging arrangements; and confirm date and time for pick-up.

  • help with the hanging of the UAL show:

as part of a large team of MA Drawing students. In the Bargehouse rooms, some large works were hung first, because there were a limited number of places for them. Most of the rest were hung on a ‘tiled’ basis around the remaining walls. The two main options for hanging were bulldog clips, suspended from nails; or white tack directly onto the work and the wall. For some works, tape tabs were created on the back of the work and nails hammered directly through the tabs onto the walls. I hadn’t seen this method before but it worked well for my 9-part drawing.

  • organise and staff the pick-up of work:

I proposed that we did not remove work from the walls in the Bargehouse rooms, because the experience of the hanging indicated that the space would quickly be filled with drawings all over the floor.

Instead we asked each artist to un-install their work; pack it up using what we had retained or their own materials; and return to the reception desk to show me the hand-in receipt as evidence that they had authority to take the work and then sign the record sheet.

One of the big benefits of the show was that it provided opportunities to connect with other members of the UAL community, through conversations at the hand-in and pick-up; at the PG Pop-Up Common Room on the Friday just before the Private View; and at the Private View itself. The show gave the MA Drawing group as a whole exposure through undertaking something of benefit and interest to many at UAL.