It’s possible to draw on the ground with sand taking advantage of the supposed chance of a pendulum or you can draw with invisible ink without seeing the result of what has been drawn. There are no limits when exercising the human gesture, so primitive, of drawing. That’s why children don’t have prejudices or shame in front of a drawing. This is the spirit of the festival Barcelona Dibuixa –the old Big Draw-, the major festivity of drawing which is spread all around the city, and which, on Sunday October 20th gathered together lovers of drawing of all ages in the workshops organized by museums, foundations, cultural institutions and civic centres.
The Museu Picasso – the institution that promoted this festivity for the first time in 2010 – concentrated a large number of the festival’s workshops. A mostly family audience participated in it. Many of them didn’t mind queuing to access the workshops and to participate in ephemeral actions such as the one proposed by Juan Escudero in the lecture hall of the museum. Escudero filled the space with pendulums that dropped black sand, through funnels. Each of the pendulums “drew” different shapes – the so-called figures of Lissajous that resulted from the movement of the pendulum – which the participants transformed as the wished by adding more sand to the figure, or by moving the shape with their feet or hands.
A few metres away, in her workshop, the artist Alicia Framis made a singular proposal: to draw what is important in life “that can’t be seen”, but not blindly, with invisible ink. The Mauri room, covered in paper, was filled with drawings that could only been seen when an ultraviolet light was shone on them. There were many, many symbols of peace and hearts all over the place, but also many scenes with flying saucers and aliens.
The Menorcan Núria Marquès, on the other hand, posed questions based on fundamental themes of Picasso’s work and in the conversations of the artist with the photographer Brassai, to which the participants had to respond with a drawing. “What is your favourite food?”; “What do you feel when you bathe in the sea?”; “What is your favourite animal?”…. Adults and children responded with blue ink drawings which would soon cover the wall of the Pati Finestres.
Very close by, in complete silence and with a mostly adult audience, in two-minute intervals, seven words were projected on a white screen of elements that could well have formed part of a Picasso painting: the path; the sound of a bell; the house; woman; creature; a horse eating grass, etc. And from this landscape of words of the workshop of Alícia Casadesús emerged drawings of very different things, even of hypothetically abstract things.
In her workshop in the Pati Noguera, Lola Lasurt linked drawing with cinema, in a “historical frieze”, in the form of a storyboard based on frames from films related to Picasso and with photos of the shooting of a film, directed by the painter himself, The death of Charlotte Corday, filmed in 1950 but never released and has remained unreleased. The participants reinterpreted the photos in the form of cinematographic plane, so that at the end of the day a frieze was created but also a new visual storytelling.
Very close by, Xavier Garriga and Oriol Vilapuig asked adults and children to draw on a cardboard plate in blue ink the moment their parents met for the first time. These “founding tales” of families were very diverse and a whole celebration of love. If the workshop of Garriga and Vilapuig appealed to the family identity, the workshops of Pablo Ientile and Jordi Duró did so in an individual way. Every day we use emojis but how would we draw one of our own to express what we feel? This is what Ientile asked the participants of his workshop to do, while Jordi Duró proposed drawing masks – which Picasso liked so much – as a form of expression and transformation.