Sunday, 16 January 2011

Naomi Kendrick.

I'm crap at drawing. Oh I can draw say a flower, and get a passable resemblance and I can draw a portrait and make people laugh and the sitter all pissed off, "looks fuck all like me" they would whine. But when I was at Art School and it came to 'mark making' and really trying to express something in a say, Cy Twombly kind of way I was crap. Too anal. I think that's why photography suites me because it is a fairly anal activity all that 'collecting' and organising into 'a series'.

Anyway back to Naomi Kendrick and her music drawing. Naomi is a Manchester based artist who draws to music and is asking people to join her for a workshop at THE BAND ON THE WALL on the 27th January. So to get an idea what this FREE event is all about watch the above film (nice little film by Mark Morreau with a great little tune by Ronnie Ronnie) below for full details.

Drawn to the Beat

By Naomi Kendrick

27.1.11 7pm Band on the Wall Manchester
To reserve your free place follow this link

Drawn to the Beat is a participatory music drawing event using Silent Disco technology. This event is a chance for anyone to try out music drawing by drawing alongside artist Naomi Kendrick in the Band on The Wall club space, which will become both silent disco and enormous drawing surface for the night.

The fascinating method of drawing music Naomi Kendrick has developed has the act of listening and physical response is at its core. Through drawing in this way she attempts to bring an immediate connection between mind and body that results in a drawing. This process often involves working with her eyes closed sitting on the drawing surface, and while drawing around herself using both hands, building up an energetic drawing of layered marks. Listening intently, she moves both in response to the layers and speed of the sound heard and the emotional response it evokes in her. Naomi’s method of drawing music has recently been documented in ‘Drawing Music’ a film by Mark Morreau, commissioned by DaDa Fest International, and screened on BBC Big Screens Nationally and BBC2’s The Culture Show Nov 2010.

This event is to encourage other people to draw and respond to the music in their own unique way. The silent disco technology will silently deliver an eclectic mix of music, selected in collaboration with musicians, to headphones worn by the participants and myself as we draw. Two different channels of music can be chosen from via the headphones meaning you could be drawing classical music whilst your neighbour draws reggae! Every now and again the music will be 'played out' to be heard by everyone, connecting peoples movements and drawings with the music. This will create a playful space where the idea of a solitary, internal perception and a shared act of creativity can be explored.

About Naomi Kendrick

I am an artist based in Manchester and currently Artist in Residence at Salford University. I am interested in creating work that, by engaging people with the senses, offers a ‘full’ experience and personal connection to my artwork. My artwork includes multi sensory installations, sculpture, drawing and participatory events, where people are invited to explore my work through interaction and encouraged to respond, through creating something themselves.

My practice is currently dominated by drawing music. This began in 1999 when, as part of research into creating and experiencing art without focusing on the visual, I spent a week wearing special glasses that gave me the effect of having severe cataracts. Drawing music began as an outlet while briefly starved of vision, and has grown to become an investigation into the act of listening and response, and I have recently collaborated with musicians and dancers to expand on these ideas.

The drawings themselves have an aesthetic I can never exactly predict, as so many factors depend on their outcome. There is always a fine line I have to tread, between really listening, and therefore to a certain extent letting go of visual awareness, and using the eye to edit and control the drawings. My position in relation to the drawing surface, the materials, and how long I choose to draw for all influence the outcome. However the key to each drawing is the music itself. Music that I find ‘works’ to draw varies enormously from Gorillaz to Shubert and Miles Davis to Brian Eno. I find music with more complex layers of sound the most evocative. Rather than attempting to map the sound (directly translating the audio into visual), I want my drawings to be a record of the experience of listening. They are the visual evidence of how that particular piece of music has moved me, physically but most of all emotionally.

There is a performative aspect to the drawing, when I draw I am lost in the moment, only slightly aware my body is engaged with my mind in the act of drawing, however to the observer my body has become more literally entwined with the drawing as it develops. One person likened it to watching a crazed spider building her web, which I particularly like, as once I am drawing a piece of music I am on an intuitive mission, one I cannot stop.

In addition to the drawings I produce alone, I have drawn music with friends, colleagues and during workshops on many occasions and am often moved by the response it evokes in people. Responding to music can be so many things, personal, yet something we often do in groups, fun, thought provoking but most of all a release. Ultimately the incomparable experience of drawing music, of listening in this unique way, is one I want to share, which is why I have created the event ‘Drawn to the Beat’

My artwork is also informed by my workshops. I have been running ‘Elephant Workshops’ multi sensory & inclusive workshops popular with visually impaired and blind people, at galleries nationally for 10 years. Throughout my practice I aim to create opportunities, for a broad audience, to experience and respond to high quality art, allowing people’s interests and passions to dictate their encounters, rather than their social ‘category’.

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