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High School Pupils win in the 2019/20 Big Draw Festival

High School Pupils win in the 2019/20 Big Draw Festival featured image

This week, global visual literacy charity The Big Draw announced the winners of the annual Big Draw Festival Awards 2019/20. The Big Draw Award winners have been selected by a distinguished jury from a shortlist of projects. This took place as part of The Big Draw Festival 2019 celebrating ‘Drawn to Life: Creativity and Wellbeing’.

Every year, The Big Draw Festival Awards celebrate drawing and creativity without borders.

The Big Draw Festival now has a presence in over 26 countries. This year’s Big Draw Festival Award winners include organisations from all parts of the world, including Bahrain and Kenya.

Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, comments:

“Each year I am blown away by the ingenuity and imagination of our Big Draw Festival event organisers across the globe; and this year was no different. With The Big Draw Festival Awards, we seek to not only celebrate the quality and creativity of our event organisers, but also to underline their crucial role as champions of the importance of visual literacy. It is all of you who embody our work at The Big Draw – our determined event organisers who challenge, innovate, stimulate debate and create. Thank you to you all and also our esteemed panel of judges.”

The selection day was held virtually this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The 2019/20 Big Draw Festival Award judges are: Diana Ali (visual artists and independent international curator); Trevor Horsewood (Head of Engagement at the Association for Art History); Kate Mason (Director of The Big Draw); and Amber Perrier (artist and Community Engagement Officer at The British Library).

Organisers, including schools, libraries, museums, artists, local councils and community centres impressed our panel of judges and The Big Draw team with their fun, unique and experimental approaches to the 2019/20 Festival theme ‘Drawn to Life: Creativity and Wellbeing’. This gave Big Draw Festival visitors opportunities to explore the benefits that creativity can have on wellbeing.

More importantly than ever, with the continued emphasis being placed on STEM in education, The Big Draw commends all schools and education facilities who demonstrate the importance of visual literacy across the curriculum. The four School and Higher Education winners this year are fantastic and heartening examples of the ongoing work that so many educators are undertaking to stress the positive impact of a creative and rounded education.

The panel selected 6 awards. In addition to these, The Big Draw hosts one award which is determined by public vote:

The People’s Choice Award . This year, the 2019/20 People’s Choice Award winner is Art Hoppers, UK .

The Big Draw would like to thank everyone who applied for the awards and took part in The Big Draw Festival 2019/20.

The Big Draw 2019/20 winners

– Primary School Award winners Braeburn School Nairobi, Kenya whose energetic exploration of the 2019 theme ‘Drawn to Life’ involved over 700 pupils participating in mindful meditation, creating dancing figures in the style of Keith Haring, taking part in urban sketching around the school grounds, and transforming the schools art block into a “magical” space, creating a large-scale ‘gratitude tree’.

– Primary School Award winners Clyro Church School in Wales encouraged pupils to explore various themes using artistic mediums including clay, mosaic and drawing, using a hexagon shape out of cardboard as a ‘frame’ for their work. These hexagons were then collated together to create a beehive-shaped ‘Hive of Wellbeing’, which was later displayed in the school’s entrance hall.

Secondary School and Higher Education Award winners Loughborough High School explored how words look and feel before creating a 20 metre long collaborative drawing to delve into these ideas further. Pupils also engaged with the performative side of drawing, engineering their own hybrid animals and bringing them to life in large-scale puppet-form.

– Secondary School and Higher Education Award winners Open College of Arts engaged over 250 participants in their online, month-long course, which explored mark-making through invention and innovation. The OCA’s Virtual Learning Environment prompted participants to design their own drawing ‘machine’s, guiding them to reflect on the activity and process of imagining, inventing, building and testing a drawing tool, rather than focusing on the finished product.

– Arts Clubs & Societies Award winner Claire Collison impressed the judges with her life drawing and modelling performance, ‘Truth is Beauty’, which explored issues around the representation of breasts and breast cancer in a safe and supportive space. For her performance, writer, artist and breast cancer survivor Claire wove autobiographical storytelling and her own poetry whilst posing, hoping to open conversations, increase the visibility of an unreconstructed mastectomy, and engender a greater acceptance of difference.

– Community, Participatory and Libraries Award winners Baloo’s Buddies, Bahrain , encouraged over 1000 people to take part in an event that explored the art of the labyrinth, citing its significance in many cultures as a tool for mindfulness and inner peace. Participants were taught how to design and draw a labyrinth on paper, a tool that they could use for relaxation and mindfulness in the future. A pottery pathway was created out of pieces of broken pottery that had been distributed to schools, nurseries, community groups, and professional and amateur artists to upcycle. Additionally, tactile finger labyrinths were created for the visually impaired and those with restricted mobility, making this a truly accessible event.

– Museums and Galleries Award Winners MAC Birmingham impressed the judges with their ambitious programme of events that sought to make drawing accessible for all and encouraged experimentation and creative freedom. MAC collaborated with the Mental Health Festival, BEDLAM, engaged with various artists including Matt Shane, Jim Holyoak and Jenna Naylor, and groups including the Uffculme Centre alongside the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Among their many events, MAC coordinated a large-scale collaborative work which was later displayed in the public foyer.

– Museums and Galleries Award winners Gallery of Modern Art, UK , employed Glasgow-based artist Gregor Wright to act as creative facilitator and assist in the curation of their day of events, which culminated in a large-scale kaleidoscopic installation that ‘ glittered and shined ’ through the heart of the gallery. Activities included live artist drawing demonstrations and various drawing stations set up throughout the gallery.

– Guest Panellist’s Choice Award winners Friends of Old Christ Church ran a large-scale event facilitated by local volunteers and supported entirely by the help of donations from local businesses. Activities included sand pendulum art, creating mark-making implements using natural found objects, sea creature workshops and a caricature workshop. Some workshops and activities were run by children such as a meccano drawing machine activity, paper doll making workshop, and small world model making.

– People’s Choice Award winners Art Hoppers organised two family events. The first, ‘Postcards from a Happy Place’, was created in partnership with Rich Mix, and encouraged participants to draw ‘declarations of happiness’, painting pictures, designing stamps and writing messages ready for the post. ‘Finding a Place’ was created in partnership with CAMHS Alliance, and invited families to visualise a landscape that inspired positive memories and feelings. These images became part of a series of 11 collectable publicity postcards.

In summary: The Big Draw Festival 2019 Award Winners

Primary School Award

Winner [1]: Braeburn School Gitanga Road, Nairobi, Kenya

Primary School Award

Winner [2]: Clyro Church in Wales Primary School, UK

Secondary School and Higher Education Award

Winner [1]: Loughborough High School, UK

Secondary School and Higher Education Award

Winner [2]: Open College of Arts, UK

Art Clubs and Societies Award

Winner: Claire Collison

Community, Participatory and Libraries Award

Winner: Baloo’s Buddies, Bahrain

Museums and Galleries Award

Winner [1]: MAC Birmingham, UK

Museums and Galleries Award

Winner [2]: Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Glasgow, UK

Guest Panellist’s Choice Award

Winner: Friends of Old Christ Church, UK

People’s Choice Award

Winner: Art Hoppers, UK

These Awards are kindly supported by The Alan Davidson Foundation , The Guild of St George and Arts Council England.

High School Pupils win in the 2019/20 Big Draw Festival featured image