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The Big Draw at the Natural History Museum

Saturday 16 October 2004, 10.00–16.30

Sketch the natural world, inside and out, at this year’s Big Draw at the Natural History Museum. Artists, part-time doodlers and even anyone who claims they can’t draw a straight line will all be welcome at the Museum on Saturday 16 October for a day of drawing activities looking closely at the Museum and its collections. As well as artist-assisted workshops, visitors will be encouraged to stop and draw, wherever the whim takes them.

The theme of this year’s Big Draw is ‘inside-out’. A whole day of events will get visitors looking closely at the ins and outs of the Museum, and its collections. In the workshop Amazing Architecture, artist Jeanette Barnes will help visitors draw the landmark Natural History Museum building by becoming pavement artists, if the weather is fine, or if not by capturing some of the amazing animals that adorn the interior terracotta walls.

Those who want the challenge of creating something on a bigger scale can join artist Louise Clarke in the Central Hall, who will be leading visitors on an exercise in large-scale drawing. Using a selection of visual arts techniques to draw the famous Diplodocus, everyone is urged to make their mark on the giant collaborative piece.

Visitors can get even closer to the Museum’s collections with artist Michelle Avison, who will look at the ins and outs of seashells, corals and other fantastic forms from the deep. Artist Dan Holloway will attempt to piece together different bone drawings of ichthyosaurs and other marine reptiles, to create one big skeleton collage.

For those who enjoy doodling away at their own pace, the Museum’s galleries are just the place to stop and draw. Armed with a free sketchpad and art materials, sketchers can explore the galleries to tackle birds, mammals or reptiles. Advice on drawing some of the larger animals in the Mammals gallery will be available from artist-tutors from the City Lit.

The Natural History Museum will also be displaying its own biggest drawing for the first time ever, as part of the Big Draw celebrations. The 246 x 570 cm image features the skeleton of the giant sloth Megatherium, and was drawn by George Scharf in 1842.

Visitors can take a break from drawing and attend Tim Hunkin’s Darwin Centre Live presentation at 12.00. Known variously as engineer, artist or automata maker, Tim has exhibited his work in a wide variety of books and public spaces. This is a rare opportunity to see how he approaches his work and uses drawing to work it all out.

Admission: free
Venue: The Natural History Museum
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00–17.50, Sunday 11.00–17.50
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000 Monday–Friday, 020 7942 5011 Saturday and Sunday


Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 October 2004 from 11.00 - 17.00 The V&A's theme is 'Getting into Shape'. Put yourself into a stretchy fabric bag and get your new shape drawn on paper. Then turn your outline into an architectural design; students from the Architectural Association will be on hand to help. Alternatively make up a shape story inspired by the shapes of objects from the collections. Watch dancers perform their stretch bag dances.

On Sunday 17 October, at 14.00 and 16.00 Mark Speight from Children's BBC SMart will be inspiring everyone to think about shape. At 15.00 Anthony Browne, author of the Shape Game, will give a drawing demonstration.

Saturday 16 October
The Science Museum celebrates the Big Draw with a series of free tours and workshops exploring the amazing links between art and science.

Children's Art Workshops
An action-packed workshop looking at how people communicate. Make a piece of art that is both moving and funny, and answers the question 'What is the silliest thing you could swallow?'

Art Tours
A themed tour that encourages open discussion of issues surrounding both conceptual art and contemporary science. Discuss issues including ethics, technology and artistic and scientific choices.

Don't dawdle, doodle! From 11.00 - 16.00, join the Museum's 'explainers' on the third floor of the museum to contribute to our spectacular spirograph drawing.


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