Bury Sketchers: drawing in a public space

Bury Sketchers is a Facebook group

With artist Deborah Pipe

Bury Sketchers was conceived as a way to take art out of a gallery space onto the streets of the town. Would this disruption challenge the way we think about, operate in and navigate public space? Does it challenge where art belongs or encourage us to get lost within a familiar environment? At the time I was immersed in post graduate study with lots of questions I needed to investigate. I wanted to explore a grass roots approach to participation, by embedding myself in this group without payment I could investigate how this approach might work out.

The group has raised many questions, new networks have formed and action has been taken. A solid core group exists and would continue to exist in some form even if we were to walk away from it. Four years in, this is the longest I have stayed with any project. Unexpected outcomes have emerged, including Sketch Lounge, but we still retain a degree of authorship, continuously reflecting on and adjusting the process. This has been a long collaboration between Deborah and myself and has made us question the nature of working together. Does it matter if we have different intentions and talk about this work in different ways. We’ll be working together on the Collusion programme so that might be a good space to ask those questions in.

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