You could say that it has never been more important for our community to stay connected. It seems that it is our creative community that are shining a light for how this can be done. And as you would expect, they are doing it creatively.
“It’s vital for all sections of a community to feel and be connected. Creatives play an important role within any community in that they help to create connection for others,” says Lunci (Mark Renshaw) of Big Fig Arts. Creatives being able to stay connected, while providing a platform for the whole community to come together was the motivation for the ‘With Drawing Project’, a Big Fig Arts Initiative. We chat to Lunci about this inclusive project.
What exactly is the ‘With Drawing Project’?
Big Fig Arts have been running weekly art classes, including the popular Dead Flowers Society, for about five years. So there is this great creative community that we wanted to keep connected, inspired and creating during social distancing. We chose to post a different drawing ‘prompt’ each week with a new ‘theme’ and anyone can join in by tagging their drawings for us to share daily on our social media platforms. The themes are influenced by the withdrawn times we are now living in such as home, mask and food. We liked the idea of turning withdrawing into a more creative With Drawing. We aim to encourage exploration and personal interpretation of each theme. The response so far has been excellent.
What was your motivation for this project?
One of Big Fig Arts main aims is inclusion. People tend to come along to our art classes not only for the creative pursuit but also for community and self-healing reasons, so we wanted to provide a project that had all those elements still. Drawing can be a great way to relax, help with mindfulness, assist new ways of seeing and can provide quiet time, where you can increase your skills to suit your own style and pace. Drawing is the basis for a lot of creativity. For the kids it’s so natural, we draw before we write. We also know it’s important to have something to work towards too, so a weekly prompt can kick start ideas and provides that gentle sense of purpose. We’ve had whole families creating together, which is fantastic to see.
How important is it for our creative community to feel connected?
There have been so many hurdles for our creative community. How do you think our creatives will fare going forward?
Having said that I know for sure creatives will keep making and singing and writing and dancing because it’s who they are. They will even be inspired and provide comment and beauty and thought from all this. They will have creative content and wares. And they will have hungry audiences waiting.
Do you have any other creative projects in the pipeline we should watch out for?
We have online creative tips for kids #bigkidsartlab to help with homeschooling ideas. We have separate projects for writers #19wordsbig and printmakers #thebigshareplate. We are planning some new art classes around the restrictions which we will run as soon as we are able. These are adapted from workshops we already had. Smaller classes conducted outside in nature, which is really the perfect classroom, especially for where we live in beautiful Bellingen.
For those interested in joining the With Drawing Project CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION