National Drawing Day is a countrywide event initiated by the National Gallery of Ireland and has been coordinated in Kilkenny by the Butler Gallery for the past four years. This year’s event took place on Saturday 19th May, when the Castle Park once again became home to a whole host of drawing activities for people of all ages.
As in previous years, the event stretched right throughout the Castle Park, with ten artist-led workshops encouraging participants to make the most of the park as an enormous sketch pad!
This year’s highlights included an amazing Tunnel Wonder sculpture created from willow with the help of artists Jean Conroy and Jenny Dunne. Artist Steven Aylin encouraged visitors to the park to transform the Michael Warren sculpture into a fantastical drawing garden. Using the Rise as a sketch pad for their Spirograph Drawings, artists Caroline Schofeld and Julie Cusack invited participants to THINK BIG and make their drawings with wool.
Encouraging people to “focus on the negative” was one aspect of National Drawing Day many visitors did not expect – luckily we were talking about Alan Raggatt’s still life workshop, in which participants explored the space between objects, or negative space. The rather more sunnily titled workshop “All Things Summer” defied the cold weather and resulted in a washing line strung long and high with stained-glass inspired drawings of summery objects.Participants of all ages looked to the Park’s trees for inspiration in Liselott Olofsson’s workshop, ‘Shadow Trees’. Have you ever considered all the textures in the Castle Park, from the bench you sit on to the trees that keep you cool when out enjoying the sun? Roisin Leadbetter encouraged participants to do just that when working to create a patchwork celebrating these many textures. Also investigating texture, artist Tunde Toth led a fantastic felting workshop, which proved popular with all ages! Artist Deirdre Kelleghan brought the sun to earth with the help of budding artist/astronomers – read more about this workshop by clicking ACTION SUN.
For those who could not bear the cold, “Silhouette” a workshop led by artist Gypsy Ray assisted by members of the 5 to 6 Women’s Art Project took place in the warm Parade Tower. As part of this year’s Bealtaine Festival, this workshop invited children to come with parents, grandparents and friends, draw their silhouettes and share stories about one another. This workshop was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13.
To take a look at some of our wonderful images from the day, visit the Butler Gallery Facebook page!
A huge thanks goes out to our wonderful team of talented artists and dedicated volunteers – without your help, this day would simply not be possible!
Thanks also to our sponsors, The Office of Public Works, The Arts Council, Arts Office Kilkenny County Council, National Drawing Day 2012 was absolutely FREE.
National Drawing Day 2012 was also kindly supported by local businesses Dunnes Stores, Langtons House Hotel, Butterslip, Cafe Mocha, Rudolf Heltzel, Nine Lives, St. Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union and Zuni.
Thanks to all of you for contributing towards a fantastic day and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Artists: Steve Aylin, Jean Conroy, Julie Cusack, Jenny Dunne, Deirdre Kelleghan, Roisin Leadbetter, Liselott Olofsson, Renate Pekowska, Alan Raggett, Caroline Schofield, Tunde Toth.