Among its many cultural endeavours, the latest that has been added to British Council's (Indian chapters) list is The Big Draw, a workshop series. Its pilot is aimed at children between ages 8 to 10 years and aims to encourage non-professional art lovers to discover their talent through its theme, 'telling stories through art'.
Spread across three months, the workshops conducted by Sonia Jose, arts practitioner and teacher at Srishti School of Arts, Design and Technology will accommodate up to 20 children each for a fee of `750.
"A parent has to accompany each child," says British Council Library executive, Purnima Krishna. "And the parent is expected to be more than a mere spectator, encouraging the child from the background." This has been inspired by the Big Draw event that has been held annually in the UK, when hundreds of art lovers, children and grown-ups alike, gather to create huge paintings together.
Scheduled to start off on December 14, Krishna says that the Council already has around five or six registrations so far. "This is for the first workshop. We expect many more for the other workshops as well in the coming weeks."
The event has been organised across all the British Council Libraries in the country. Krishna continues, "We (the British Council) strive to promote art. And while drawing is something that you do at school, not many pursue it later. Here, each will work as a group of 10 or 20 to create a drawing. So it's more than just art; it's about coordination as well."
The organisation plans to follow the first five workshops with a few more that are to be conducted for about 100 students at schools.
Drawing, which is often thought of a generic form of art, is dealt through a variety of perspectives and techniques during each of the workshops:
The workshop on Stories through Blots and Spills, which will have participants dabbling with ink, is the first of the series; Stories though Tracing and Layering will see participants experiment with art through tracing and layering; Stories with Black and White, Dark and Light will require participants to explore light and shadow effects through the use of shades of black and white; Stories through Patterns and Textures will help participants understand the importance of visual variety; and Stories Objects Tell will have the kids portraying objects as they are associated through their experiences.