Desert island drawings
What do you value about the practice of drawing? How does it affect or integrate with your wellbeing?
Welcome to our Desert Island Drawings, an opportunity for participants to share eight meaningful drawings, organised by Dr Philippa Lyon, the lead of our Drawing for Health and Wellbeing strand.
We are developing this collection with a view to better understanding drawing and would be very happy to see the venture move into schools and healthcare scenarios. If you would like to join this venture, have any ideas for its development or would like to contribute your own set of drawings, please contact us at CentreforArtsandWellbeing@brighton.ac.uk
Duncan Bullen selects his Desert Island Drawings
“What an enjoyable, but incredibly difficult task this has been. In order to help me I imposed some rules upon my selection process. These stipulated that my choice had to have been made within the past 100 years, that each drawing should be made with a pointed tool, such as a pen or pencil, rather than a brush and each work must be on paper or board. In so, doing I limited my choice and ruled out all sorts of possible contenders. However, my last selection flouts the rules or at least two of the three. You also see that with a couple of selections of I have chosen two drawings and paired them together.”
Philippa Lyon discusses her chosen eight desert island drawings
Drawing can be an excellent way to regain or sustain your wellbeing.
This can happen in different ways.
As an activity, drawing can help you feel grounded and focused, or it can be a means of self-expression. Yet drawing can also be helpful for wellbeing because in the process of making marks we can become less self-conscious; you may have heard people talk of ‘losing themselves’ in drawing.
Many of us draw, or look at drawings, because we want to communicate something or enjoy the way drawing captures moments, ideas and moods. In isolation and anxiety, drawing can be a way of escaping, of imagining our way into better times, or giving vent to the things that worry us. It can be a way of focusing on people, places and ideas that matter to us and are important to our identity, and for our health and wellbeing.
In the Desert Island Drawings project, contributors are asked to imagine being marooned on a desert island, a scenario that many of us can now relate to very strongly. In this situation, what eight drawings would we choose to take with us for our wellbeing? Each contributor decides how to interpret what drawing is or can be, which drawings matter to them most, and why.
Claire Scanlon and Paul Grivell’s Desert Island Drawings
Isobel Creed explores memories evoked by drawings during the lockdown experience
Watch this space for more Desert Island Drawings