Sight Unseen brings the classic artists’ exercise of “blind” drawing into the public space, and invites passers-by to experiment with drawing while focused exclusively on their subject.
The custom built mobile drawing studios, constructed from salvaged bicycle trailers and affectionately know as carts, are a nod to the moveable fast food feasts to be found across Asia. But here in Canberra the format has been turned to reviving participants’ lost passion for drawing; they take a few minutes out of their day (often with a little coaxing past their conviction that “I can’t draw!”) and put pen to paper. The carts cater to most sizes and abilities, with shelves moving up and down to allow even the littlest people to draw. A top shelf hides the drawing, encouraging the artist to look only at what they have chosen to draw. With gold frames on either side, many participants elect to draw their companion/s, with simultaneous mutual portraiture producing spectacular results.
These images were taken at the You Are Here festival in Canberra from 5-9 April, 2017. (Photographs by Sarah Walker, Elly Kent and Shane Bolitho)
Sight Unseen is scheduled to appear at the National Portrait Gallery in October 2017.