Draw on me #2 (At Crown St Mall)

With all of our equipment still in my car from the last time we set up our project, the morning was a lot more relaxed and settled. Once again I headed over to Campus East to pick Daniel up and then headed into the centre of town. At first, Daniel was going to catch the bus into town and meet me at the mall, but with so much stuff needing to be transported for our project, I needed someone to watch the supplies whilst I found a park.

So far the morning had run quite smooth and with Daniel and I utilising our class time to do our second iteration, we thought we were smashing it. Once I had found a park, we picked up the supplies and headed for the middle of the plaza. We decided that setting up in a nice open area between the two buildings would be a great spot. With the weather looking like it was going to rain, we decided to set the project up underneath an overhead walkway, this meant that even if it did rain it would keep the canvas and table dry.

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By the time we had finished setting up the table, easel, art supplies and hung up the “Draw on me” signs it was bang on 10am. Once again, we decided that two hours would be more than enough time for people to make their mark on the canvas.

At this point in time, if I were a member of the public and saw this project, I would have walked straight past it. It wasn’t that is was unnoticeable, it was because it was 10am on a Thursday (during work hours), it was freezing cold and it was raining, if that doesn’t deter people from drawing on a canvas I don’t know what does.

Daniel and I both agreed that today wasn’t going to be anywhere near as successful as the time we were at the beach. It was actually quite funny that the weather we experienced at the beach was pretty much the complete opposite to what we were faced with today. The weather in this situation was kind of like a metaphor. On weekends when people have time off work they are happy and get presented with the sunshine, but throughout the week on work days, you are in a cold and depressed state and deserve to have rain.

After about 20 minutes of waiting, Dan and I were getting a little worried that no one was going to draw on our canvas, but just as were started to think this a father and his three young children approached the canvas. We expected them to be there for about two minutes and then continue on with the rest of their day, but even after 15 minutes, they were still there having a grand old time.

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By the time they had left, they had touched every single art supplies we had on the table and created this colourful artwork.

With the canvas being filled right to the edges, I assumed that no one else would add to the picture, but I was definitely wrong.

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With the Dad and his three kids drawing on the canvas for such a long time, Dan and I wanted to check out the masterpiece. After we had taken a photo and started to walk away a lady approached the canvas and begun to do some things that I have never seen before.

With Dan and I watching on from a distance it was quite hard to make out what she was doing, but it looked like she was painting over the artwork that the children had made. This in itself was very interesting, I just assumed that because the canvas was quite full that no one would add to it, but it seems that instead of adding to it, this lady was drawing over what was already there and making it her own.

As more time went on her activities were engaging my attention more and more. After she had painted over the previous artwork, she then proceeded to grab the glitter containers and sprinkle the glitter around the table and easel. Her actions reminded me of a tribal dance where you throw things in the fire to scare away bad spirits.

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It was amazing to see that our artwork had now been taken beyond the canvas; never in my wildest dreams did I think that this form of engagement would occur.

Although I had no objection against her artistic creativity, I had to intervene with this woman due to the fact she was starting to steal our art supplies. Both Dan and I had clearly seen this woman put our supplies into her bag, so when I approached the woman she didn’t deny taking any of the items. I asked her kindly to put the items back on the table once she had finished.

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Whilst engaging in conversation with the woman and seeing her up close, signs of drug abuse were very prevalent. I am not one to accuse, prejudge or jump to conclusions, but from my knowledge, it seemed very evident.

In the end, she returned some of the supplies she had put into her bag. If we started with 100 items I would say that she took around 30 items, including all seven of our glitter containers. I was not mad that she had taken the supplies, I found it quite sad.  If this woman has to result to stealing glitter, I can only assume what else she would have to steal to get by on a daily basis.

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With so much activity occurring within the first hour of the project, the next 40 minutes seem to go for an eternity. It had got to the stage where the weather was so miserable that people were no long walking outside. As a result of the low traffic, we decided that packing up the equipment 20 minutes early could be justified.

Drawer Time
Start: 10am Thursday 26th May 2016, Crown Street Mall Plaza
#1 10:26
Took photo of canvas 10:40
#2 10:41
Took photo of canvas 11
Took photo of canvas and packed up project 11:40

Although the number of artists wasn’t as high as our previous iteration, we were still able to capture the expressions of different people in a particular place, even if only one expression can be seen in end result.

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