Starting Sunday 21 February 2016, 14.00
£75, Members/concessions £60
Join artist Anna Saunders on a specially curated drawing course which will inspire you to view the Museum's collection in new ways, with new depth. The series of five classes is open to all abilities and each will focus on an important object. Anna will provide step-by-step guidance on developing different styles and techniques, which will harness and reveal the art within the object. Learn and enjoy drawing methods which you can build on week to week. All materials included.
Week 1: Form and fluidity
Sun 21 Feb 2016, 14.00–16.30, Room 17
In the first session draw inspiration from the Nereid Monument in Room 17, dating to 390 BC. Explore drawing techniques which capture the fluidity and grace of the sea-nymphs – statues which were placed between pillars on this monumental tomb. Sea nymphs were thought to have escorted the soul on its journey to the afterlife and so the statues present both realism and romance. The statues' elegant, fluid form will be used to create both expressive and considered drawings – communicating movement in stone.
Week 2: Power and presence
Sun 28 Feb 2016, 14.00–16.30, Room 24
In this session delve deeper into mark-making techniques to build up impact in your drawings. Working from striking wooden Houseposts and reflecting on their effect, learn ways to harness the power of sculpture of this kind to create drawings with presence. The Housepost at the heart of the session originates from a latmul men's cult house in Papua New Guinea. Its strength and presence is both physical and metaphorical – its structure reflects the assertion of male power in a society that once emphasised male warfare and head-hunting.
Week 3: Volume and mass
Sun 6 Mar 2016, 14.00–16.30, Room 25
In this session focus on ways to recreate the three-dimensional form on paper. Learn ways to make drawings which are alive through the impression of volume, shape and mass, working outwards from the central display of African water, beer and wine pots. Simple in design and effective in use, these pots each combine form and function flawlessly. One example is a beer pot made with two handles and three spouts. Splashed with a vegetable 'garnish', it gives ample ground for tonal drawing exercises to progress.
Week 4: Drama and expression
Sun 13 Mar 2016, 14.00–16.30, Room 33
Combine what you have learnt so far and add strength to your drawings in the light of vibrant tomb-figures from ancient China. Using these figures and fabulous creatures as a starting point, practise drawing techniques to make your work striking, lively and bold. Dating back to the early 8th century, the figures were originally housed in the tomb of a Tang dynasty official who requested protection after death. The three-colour glaze (sancai) gives the figures added visual impact which combines with their ferociousness and dramatic ensemble.
Week 5: Detail and definition
Sun 20 Mar 2016, 14.00–16.30, Room 92
To further the previous week's focus on expression, be introduced to ways of tackling detail in your drawings. Use stunningly intricate Japanese ceramics to learn which details to pick out when, why and how. Focus on contemporary Japanese ceramics such as 'Large Feather Leaves Bowl', 2013. Made over six months, the bowl consists of 1,000 leaves which were each painstakingly attached by hand to give the impression of fragility and movement. Enjoy new ways of looking at the intricate artwork which has helped to redefine the boundaries of Japanese art in the 21st century.