Drawing Workshop, Venice Biennale

I’ll be in Venice next week  for the Biennale where I’ll be hosting a drawing workshop at the British Pavillion on Saturday 28th August from 2.30-5.30pm. If you are in Venice do drop by … it should be fun.

The workshop will be, for want of a better expression, a Post Ruskininan psychometric drawing experiment. We will use drawing as a technique to explore the gap between architecture as image and experience. Close observation – a technique borrowed from Ruskins own programme of drawing lessons – will help us explore how copying and re-representation can help us escape received meanings and create new interpretations and possibilities.

Like Ruskin, we will have our own teaching collection, and we will also make “no attempt at composition or picture making” just as he advised. Instead, we will attempt to use (as he put it) “drawing,  primarily in order to direct their attention accurately to the beauty of God’s work in the material universe” or as I might put it, to use drawing as an experimental device to unravel material culture.

The nature of the experiment cannot at this stage be revealed,  so you’ll just have to come along and participate where all, at some point, will become clear!

Spaces might be limited, so drop me a line if you’re super keen.

There are a couple of other workshops at the same time run by Lottie Child and Christophe Egret. And there will be a review with Liza Fior of muf, Joseph Rykwert and Paul Finch after.

The Ruskin theme responds to the installation for the British Pavilion that has the excellent title of “Villa Frankenstein” and has been curated by muf.

Liza Fior from muf explains:

“From John Ruskin and the Stones of Venice to Ralph Rumney, the only British founding member of the Situationist International, the British have been obsessed with Venice and in different ways have taken Venice home. This two-way traffic of ideas, knowledge and experience has left its mark on both archipelagos. Through Villa Frankenstein, we hope to explore and showcase the methodology behind our work, making public spaces that negotiate between the complex and different agendas of a single place.”

The Pavilion, which has been ironically reframed as Villa Frankenstein, making direct reference to the work of John Ruskin, will act as a stage for drawing, discussion and scientific enquiry. It will put forward the proposition that meaningful strategies for development can only come from understanding a place in detail.



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  1. Erik says:

    This sounds fantastic!

  2. liza fior says:

    It was fantastic and I hope we will be able to repeat it -maybe beside the lagoon like pond that Sam has identified in Denmark Hill.

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