UCL News


Three-day drawing festival launches The Big Draw 2008

21 July 2008

The Campaign for Drawing, UCL and Bow Arts Trust present 'Drawing on Life', 26-28 September A three-day festival extravaganza hosted by UCL and the Wellcome Collection central London this September will draw on science, medicine and art to launch The Big Draw 2008, a national month-long celebration of all aspects of drawing.

Animators and illustrators will join forces with neurologists and geneticists, combining their talents to inspire people of all ages and abilities to draw in celebration of life and what it means to be human.

'Drawing on Life' is an entirely free festival with more than 40 interactive events and creative experiences. Scientists from UCL and Queen Mary, University of London will collaborate with British and international artists to help visitors explore their understanding of the human mind and body.

Dates and times:
Friday 26 September (launch): Wellcome Collection, 19.00-22.00
Saturday 27 September: UCL and Wellcome Collection, 11.00-17.00
Sunday 28 September: Wellcome Collection, 11.00-17.00

Highlights of the weekend line-up at Wellcome Collection include illustrator Steven Appleby drawing in response to the live music of beatboxer Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee, and workshops where participants can draw graphic scores for the premiere of a new choral work that will then be performed by members of the public together with Exaudi, one of Britain's most exciting young new music groups.

Visitors can try their hand creating body maps, ultraviolet mobiles, modern-day votives, slogans on body issues, and characters, sets and dramas for the Little Theatre of Disease and Desire. Prof Semir Zeki, Director of the Institute of Neuroaesthetics at UCL, will talk about Ambiguities in Art and the Brain, while Prof Ray Dolan investigates the emotional brain, and science historian Prof Arthur Miller compares the thought processes of artists and scientists.

On Saturday 27 September, UCL presents a complementary programme across its neighbouring Bloomsbury campus. Visitors can make experimental music with Sam Belinfante's Drawing Machine, play Frankenstein by creating their own monsters, and join artist Richard Wentworth and scientist Mark Lythgoe as they walk, map and redraw their environment. Geneticist Prof Steve Jones will entertain with a talk about snails, evolution and camouflage before the snails take revenge by eating portraits of Prof Jones and Charles Darwin - very slowly.

Participating artists include: Steven Appleby, Ben Ashton, Daniel Baker, Heather Barnett, Sam Belinfante, Rebecca Birch, Patrick Blower, Julian Burton, Matt Caines, Natalie Gale, Tessa Garland, Antony Hall, Abbie Hunt, Jonathan Huxley, Tess Laurence, Jared Louche, Mobile Studio, Christian Nold, Albert Potrony, Matty Pye, Sholto and Hugo Brown, Andrew Stahl, Finlay Taylor, Tim Wainwright, Richard Wentworth, Gary Woodley.

Visit www.thebigdraw.org for more information about the weekend, and go to www.campaignfordrawing.org for a listing of 1,000 Big Draw events across the UK from 1 to 31 October.

All art materials are provided free thanks to Derwent, Britain's only pencil manufacturer.


For further details, please contact:

Dave Weston

Media Relations Manager


T: 020 7679 7678

E: d.weston@ucl.ac.uk

Michael Regnier
Media Officer
Wellcome Trust
T: 020 7611 7262
E: m.regnier@wellcome.ac.uk



Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road

Fri 26 Sep: 19.00 - 22.00
Sat 27 Sep: 11.00 - 17.00
Sun 28 Sep: 11.00 - 17.00

All events are FREE.

University College London

Gower Street

Sat 27 Sep: 11.00 - 17.00

All events are FREE.

The Campaign for Drawing raises the profile of drawing and promotes its value as an effective tool for creativity, cultural engagement and learning. Its long-term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived and used by professionals and the public.

The Big Draw is an annual celebration of drawing, involving hundreds of participatory and inclusive events. These are held each October in a vast range of venues from scout huts and nursery schools to palaces and national museums.

The Power Drawing professional development programme underpins the Campaign. It supports the work of teachers, cultural educators and others who use drawing as a medium for learning. Power Drawing provides proof that drawing develops skills of perception, thought, invention and action.

The Campaign for Drawing is supported by Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Foster+Partners.

Bow Arts Trust, in Tower Hamlets, was established by Marcel Baettig in 1995 as a cultural facility for the education and enjoyment of the artists and residents of Tower Hamlets and its adjoining boroughs, and to national and international audiences.

The Bow Arts Trust has developed as an international centre for educational creativity and the contemporary visual arts in the heart of the East End of London. Annie Bicknell heads a dynamic education team nationally reputed for its innovative and cutting edge programme.

The Trust occupies two buildings opposite the historic St Mary Atta le Bow Church. One the site of an old factory built in 1818 the other a disused Carmelite nunnery built around 1850.

The Trust has established and manages; The Nunnery a widely accessible contemporary art gallery, over 100 affordable artists' studios and a London-wide educational programme helping over 20,000 young people and adults each year.

University College London

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. In the government's most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5* and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence.

UCL is in the top ten world universities in the 2007 THES-QS World University Rankings, and the fourth-ranked UK university in the 2007 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay. www.ucl.ac.uk

Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Trust's former headquarters, the Wellcome Building on London's Euston Road, has been redesigned by Hopkins Architects to become a new £30 million public venue. Free to all, Wellcome Collection explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The building comprises three galleries, a public events space, the Wellcome Library, a café, a bookshop, conference facilities and a members' club. www.wellcomecollection.org

The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around £600 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. www.wellcome.ac.uk

Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with some 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Queen Mary, as a member of the 1994 Group of research-focused universities, has made a strategic commitment to the highest quality of research, but also to the best possible educational, cultural and social experience for its students. www.qmul.ac.uk