WHAT is drawing? Well, that’s exactly what a new exhibition at the Customs House aims to find that out.
The show, at the Mill Dam venue in South Shields, has been put together by the gallery’s visual arts curator, Esen Kaya, with the help of Dr Mike Collier, from the University of Sunderland.
Work on display in the gallery is from up-and-coming artists as well as more established talent.
Mike said: “The idea was to explore the question, what is drawing?
“It’s also a forerunner to the year of drawing that Esen is organising in 2015.”
Esen added: “The year aims to explore what contemporary drawing is in great detail over a year, where we can really explore it through an interesting menu of exhibitions, events, masterclasses and symposiums.
“We’ll be working with regional, national and international artists and part of that year will be a critical platform where there will be an opportunity to engage in discussions and debates about contemporary drawing.
“Drawing is such a wonderful thing that we all do in some shape or form and, as an artists’ practice, it’s not something that is celebrated very often.”
Visitors to the exhibition can browse the work by the artists as well as read 100-word passages by each of them, describing what they think drawing is.
Mike said: “Esen has done really well to get together so many different artists for this exhibition and it has a real celebratory feel about it.
“We asked each of them to write in 100 words or less what drawing is to them and we’ve displayed them all around the gallery for people to see.
“There’s also a board where we hope people will write down their own interpretations of what drawing is, because it’s interesting to see the different ways that people explain it.”
A series of events surrounding the exhibition will also be held at the Customs House.
A What Is Drawing? panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, October 23.
The event, chaired by Esen and Mike, is free and runs from 1pm to 4pm.
A Biro drawing masterclass will be held by South Shields-based artist Jane Lee McCracken on Saturday, October 26.
Jane, whose work is on display in the exhibition, will take the class from 10am to 3pm. It costs £15.
Another masterclass, all about drawing on iPads, will be held on Saturday, November 9.
The class, held by David Wilkinson, runs from 10am to 3pm and costs £15.
What Is Drawing? is on display until November 17.
The gallery is open between 10am and 8pm, Monday to Saturday and noon to 8pm on Sundays.
Entry is free.
n To find out more, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.