Tagged: Crown Street Mall

Draw on me reflection/analysis

Throughout this project, I have learnt a lot about the willingness that people have to engage in activities. I always thought that in order to engage any number of people, a rewards system must be put in place. Never in my life have I seen people do things for free and it is not very frequent that people do things out of the kindness of their heart.

The concept of doing something for free in this day and age seems impossible, people always want something. Even in this project I want people to draw on a canvas for the sake of helping me do an assessment, there is no real reward for doing it; yes they may get to have 20 seconds of fun, but is that the reward that has enticed so many people to participate?

Although I am not surprised that so many people were willing to draw on the canvases, I am surprised how much the physical environment dictated their creativity.

Draw on me #1 (At North Wollongong beach)

In the case of the canvas at the beach, it seemed that people were very fixated on representing what they saw. It seemed like they wanted to capture the moment in which they were living. There were pictures of waves, surfers, flowers, fish, whales, grass, boats and dogs, all these items could be seen if you were standing at the canvas.

The beach canvas, in this case, has been able to create a visual representation of what is on the mind of people at this particular place at this particular time. I know that not all elements of the canvas are related to the beach directly, but each item in this piece works together to represent a beach.

Even when I went home to dry the canvas, two of my housemates asked, “Did you put that down at the beach?”  It is clear that even for people who have no idea where or why it was created, they can accurately guess that it is a representation of a beach.

IMG_6270

Draw on me #2 (At Crown St Mall)

Although this particular canvas went through an unimaginable transformation, I believe that it was able to create a raw representation of a person’s mind.

It is not clear what the canvas means or represents, it is very abstract and it can almost depict whatever you want it to.

Once again, I believe that the physical environment in which the lady was in when she painted the canvas has been represented.

On a cold Thursday morning where rain is causing social angst and unhappiness, this lady has used a number of dark colours to engulf and overpower any remains of what was previously there.

IMG_6289

I feel as though this overpowering and smothering nature is a metaphor for the society in which we live and the environment she is in.

This concept over overpowering is also evident by looking at the edges of the canvas; this lady has gone out of her way to paint on all the sides as well the front. By once again referring to the metaphor, if you look at the front of the canvas and society everything seems quite normal. But with the canvas being painted on the side it seems there is no escape and no room for colour or change, it is like we are trapped with no way out.

IMG_6286

Draw on me #3 (At Wollongong University)

A university is a place for people to come follow their dream, everyone is in an upbeat mood because they are able to express themselves and follow a path of their choice.

In this canvas you can see deeper concepts, people have not only thought about drawing something, they have analysed why and how. It almost seems like they have approached it the same way they would approach an essay.

I am not saying that all the pictures on the canvas have done this, but I feel as though a lot have.

Once again, it is evident that the area in which the canvas was placed has determined what got drawn or written.

People have taken their time in an intellectual way to think about what they are going to add.

University life has also been put all over the canvas too; the use of hashtags clearly helps to represent the demographic of the artists participating.

IMG_6320

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.

IMG_6300

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.

IMG_6292

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.

IMG_6289

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.

IMG_6288

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.

IMG_6290

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.

IMG_6287

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.

IMG_6286

Introduction

Although we had been inspired by many different ideas from our trip to Redfern, Daniel and I decided that our social intersections project will involve leaving a canvas and art supplies in different locations around Wollongong and hoping people will draw on it.

Over three different days, a blank canvas will be left at North Wollongong beach, Crown Street Plaza and The University of Wollongong. Once we have set up the easel and table with art supplies on it, Daniel and I will watch from a distance and document how many and how frequently people are drawing on the canvas.

IMG_6223

The idea behind this artwork is to capture people’s raw and authentic thoughts in a particular place at a particular time. We did consider standing next to the canvas and asking people to draw on it, but we believe that this intrusive and demanding tactic would cause people to panic. By leaving the canvas unattended, we hope it will draw out originality and raw emotion through artistic expression.

The main focus and underlying theme of this project is to capture authentic expression. We want to be able to see people’s thoughts visually displayed on a canvas.

I think it will be very interesting to see what people will draw on each of the canvases. I believe that each location and their surroundings will play a big role in dictating what gets added to the artwork. When we set ourselves up at the beach, I am expecting to see stereotypical beach items e.g. sun, waves, surfboards and sand. Although I am unsure what will be added onto the Crown Street and University canvases, I believe that the environment in which it is placed will be represented in the artwork people create.

Although this particular project doesn’t really use either of our skills, we are both looking forward to the challenge of doing something a bit different. With craft and drawing being at the bottom of our leisure activities, we realised that neither of us had any items needed to carry out the project. At first, we thought it would be a fun challenge to see if we could source all of our material without spending any money, but with the deadline looming, we decided that buying the materials would be a lot easier and stress-free.

After coming to this realisation, we started to write down all the things we needed. With the list tallying around 25 items, we agreed that we were willing to spend $50 each in order to carry out this project. Although some of our items didn’t need to be bought (e.g. I had a table at home and we could borrow an easel from the art department), most of the items we needed should only cost a few dollars each.

Later that afternoon I went to Spotlight in Wollongong to pick up all the necessary equipment (pens, pencils, textas, paint, paint brushes, craft supplies, glue, sticky tape, 3 canvases, glitter, big sheets of cardboard). Although there were a lot of things to choose from, I decided to get a little bit of everything without going overboard. In the end, I spent just over $60 for everything that we needed, meaning that we were well under our $100 limit.

IMG_6262

IMG_6263

After discussing in class that we should go on site on Saturday morning, I did a little preparation on Friday night. In order to entice people to draw on our canvas, we thought it would be a good idea to have two big sheets of cardboard that say “Draw on me”. By reading the words “Draw on me” and seeing a canvas with art supplies, we are hoping that people will be able to join the dots and proceed to draw/paint/create.

IMG_6265