The Arts Council has just announced their vision for the future of creativity and culture: Let’s Create a country transformed by culture. Bringing us together, happier, healthier. To excite, inspire, delight. To enrich our lives.


All of the above was evident during The Big Draw 2021 event at DLWP on Saturday 30th October, from 1pm – 5pm. The event was open to everyone for free or donation. Over the afternoon we had 110 participants! and some very generous donations. The building was buzzing with creativity! The Big Draw Festival is a worldwide celebration of drawing, which promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and invention. Nancy Odufona and I (Sinéid Codd) made a great Lead Artist Team because we both like to work hard and have fun doing so!

We offered an assortment of imaginative activities, accessible for all ages and abilities, across a range of drawing processes – drawing digitally – cutting with scissors – tearing with our hands – drawing with sticks, chalks and pens – papercut collages. Seven is a magic number and that’s how many drawing activities we devised for visitors. All activities related to current exhibitions: Alexi Marshall Cursebreakers; Sharif Persaud Have You Ever Had and Helen Cann’s A Map Of The Sea And The De La Warr Pavilion.

In response to Alexi’s work we invited participants to bring their magic; draw and cut skulls and bones, flaming hearts, personal symbols of love and hope for all of us, and our planet. Digital selfies and colourful masks were made from looking at Sharif’s work, and Helen Cann’s map presented a marvellous opportunity for us to create ‘Making Waves’ – a participatory floor installation using cut and torn monochrome papers. A camera was set up to record the making of the sea throughout the day.

The resulting paper sea installation felt animated! It contained a multitude of  expressions in visual form – birds and sea creatures appeared amidst the waves – a poignancy and beauty as well as celebration. When all the visitors had left the building, we got together on the top floor and I choreographed the whole team in a performative tide like sweep-up of the paper sea! We are all looking forward to seeing the resulting film, which will be speeded up to show the making and unmaking!

We had great help from DLWP staff for the day’s set-up and were supported by a marvellous group of volunteers, some of who have been volunteering for 20 years! We were also supported by The Blueprint Collective, one of whom, Ren, set up an excellent digital selfie / portrait activity. Thanks also for the DLWP photographers who roamed throughout the building, catching some magic moments.


Huge thanks to you all and to all the visitors who took part and brought The Big Draw alive!!

Sinéid Codd




Posted by Max Mowbray on Monday 8 November 2021