Jenny Purrett is leading a drawing project with members of the women’s group Sangini who are based in South Shields and Sunderland.  This includes a weekend spent at VARC’s base at Highgreen and time working also at Sangini’s studio base in South Shields.  The project culminates in a day and display at Highgreen on 8th November and later with an exhibition in South Shields.

During the weekend spent at Highgreen Jenny facilitated a range of drawing activities which enabled the group to work collaboratively, to share skills and ideas, and to develop confidence in their own individual drawing skills.The group played with sticks and ink; they rolled a huge piece of paper down the tree-lined drive and made a woodland drawing together; they learned to use tone and to experiment with colour; they learned to look and had time to absorb a new space; they gained energy and excitement from working alongside each other. They recorded all these experiences in their own unique way. The outcome: a story of a journey together to a new place, told through drawing.

At the end of the weekend, participants were asked what they valued most from their experience:

“What I got out of it: confidence in making a mark. Bonding.”

“Putting your thoughts on paper, expressing yourself and looking at the wilderness was so calming and so liberating. I just let go and played with my little pencil and was excited to work with colours.”

“It was very therapeutic to get away from busy life and bring us together. We have learned skills to make drawing and painting possible, and confidence to start drawing”

Nine members of Sangini and Jenny spent a final day drawing at Highgreen and completed a number of beautiful new pieces.  With them was Ranbir Kaur, visiting artist in residence with Sangini.  Ranbir is a rangoli and textile artist and is spending time with Sangini exploring rangoli in the context of contemporary art.  The day finished with a display of completed drawings enjoyed with home made British and Indian food shared with local residents.

There will be more drawing sessions at Sangini’s base in South Shields and an exhibition.

The project is a collaboration between VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities), Customs House, South Shields and Sangini and is part of Drawing? with funding from Arts Council England and Northumberland Arts Development.