ART & SCIENCE EDUCATION
The Draw Out Initiative - Interdisciplinary Earth Science Workshops
In 2019 I founded a collection of tours, classes, workshops and residentials with the overall stated goal of 'engaging adults in the natural sciences through drawing'. Non-STEM literate adults, particularly adults without children, are an often neglected group in natural history outreach, despite public understanding of the natural world being crucial at this time of climate crisis. In 2020, having established a working model, I am able to launch the Draw Out Initiative as a charitable enterprise. I offer workshops to scientific institutions and small museums interested in interdisciplinary practice targeted at bringing adults into natural history museums. If you represent an institution, please feel free to contact me to organise a workshop.
A FEMINIST'S GUIDE TO DINOSAURS - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SEDGWICK MUSEUM
January and December 2019
In conjunction with feminist art collective London Drawing Group, I run a one-day tour of natural history museums, including the NHM and currently the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge, based on untold stories of women in palaeontology, from the early to the recent and from the famous to the obscure. This can be shared as a lecture or as a class for older school students, please contact me for details.
Click the image for more information.
THURSDAY NIGHT DRAWING CLUB
March 2020-April 2021 (ongoing)
I am now in my third term of weekly and/or twice-weekly free experimental drawing classes through Instagram Live, responding to a variety of themes and prompts from 'abstract drawing from Google Earth satellite images' to 'interiors drawing from 3D virtual museum tours'. These classes are around 90 minutes in duration, and are attended by an average audience of 30, developing a strong and positive online community during lockdown. I have now delivered more than 50 of these classes, for free and publicly accessible through Instagram Live. Recordings of these remain on my Instagram profile.
As well as being a positive experience, these classes have developed and proved my ability to create an interactive and engaging drawing workshop out of just about anything! If you represent an organisation and would like to highlight an unusual aspect of your collection or work, I'd relish the challenge of developing a class.
A detailed summary of the classes is available through a talk I delivered at the Drawing Projects UK symposium Teaching Drawing 2 in 2021 - please find the link here: https://youtu.be/WtXaj4YS1RM?t=3645
SKETCHING AMMONITES - A CELEBRATION OF MARY ANNING
To coincide with the release of the film Ammonite, I developed a beginner-level workshop, delivered online, centred around the Sedgwick's ammonite collection. The focus on the class was on direct observation of specific examples, rather than on the general 'idea' of ammonites, and introduced beginners to ideas of observational drawing practice as well as more expressive, experimental drawing. The class was fully booked and similar classes will be repeated going forward.
FIELD SKETCHING CLASSES FOR GEOLOGISTS - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GEOLOGISTS ASSOCIATION
Based on my Geoscientist article (click the image to view), I ran two online workshops (in partnership with the Geologists' Association) for geologists to expand upon the exercises in my article and to teach field sketching skills in a constructive and friendly environment.
This workshop is to be repeated in Summer 2021 as a field class, and is available for local geological societies or groups - please feel free to contact me.
CARBON ON CARBON - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
April and May 2019
In April 2019 I led a public engagement drawing class at the Geological Society Library called Carbon on Carbon, including a short lecture exploring the Carboniferous period and a three-hour beginner class on sketching specimen fossils using carbon-based materials. The 24-person class sold out rapidly and on the success of the first, a second was carried out in May.
This has led to an ongoing partnership with the Geological Society of London, with the next event currently planned for November.
To see a full set of photos from both classes, see the GSL's Facebook page below.
DRAWN FROM NATURE - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LONDON DRAWING GROUP
In June 2019 I developed a new class with London Drawing Group at Eridge Rocks Nature Reserve, as part of their Drawn from Nature course. I covered elements of sedimentary geology and history of geology with reference to the Weald for a group of non-geologists, from ancient river-spotting in the outcrops to Mesolithic shelter caves and Victorian hoaxes. This was facilitated by experimentation with landscape sketchbooking and recording experience, guided by the nature connection work of Miles Richardson. We were guided by the work of fine artists influenced by geology such as Per Kirkeby, Graham Sutherland and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.
INTO THE WOODS
In September I ran a 'first' for London Drawing Group - a residential weekend. The class will be focused on nature connectedness for London residents, with a range of classes across the two days including sketchbook and ink making, geological and natural history, yoga led by a professional instructor, nature walks and documenting and responding to the landscape. The class is designed to be easily accessible from London and have a very low 'intimidation factor' in order to get more people outdoors.
The class was a huge success, happily sold out and there are plans for a future version next year. Please get in contact if you would like to take part.
In 2020 I was awarded the William Smith Fund, a Society-level medal from the Geological Society of London for 'excellence in applied and industrial geosciences', in part for my work with the Draw Out Project. The funds from this allowed me to purchase a high-definition camera and lighting rig, for multi-camera top-down demonstration of drawing. This facility allows me to teach effectively online.