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Be Drawn into Art at the Annual Big Draw Event at the National Gallery of Australia
Some of the highlights of the program include tape drawing on the walls of the Gallery and responding to the luminous colours in the exhibition, McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17, with window collages.

CANBERRA.- This year the National Gallery of Australia’s annual event, The Big Draw, opens with a talk by one of Australia’s foremost living artists, John Olsen, on his attitude and approaches to drawing.

The talk at 6:00 pm on Thursday 17 September is a prequel to the main Big Draw event on Sunday 20 September and marks the significance of this year’s Big Draw, which celebrates its 10th birthday.

The Big Draw at the National Gallery is held in partnership with Drawing Australia and the National Australia Bank, and is a day dedicated for people of all ages and abilities to experience and celebrate the art of drawing—for free.

“Drawing is the beginning of everything, from cave painting to the 21st century. No matter how much technology develops, drawing remains an important human dimension. It is the best way to send an urgent message to self,” said John Olsen.

There will be 15 locations throughout the Gallery, with artists and Gallery educators facilitating drawing in response to works of art in the collection. Professional and budding artists alike will have the opportunity to draw live models and respond to famous works such as Jackson Pollock’s Blue poles, the Pop art collection and works in the Sculpture Gallery.

“The Big Draw is now firmly established as a Canberra and broader community event. It is a wonderful opportunity for the Gallery to reach out into the community, and through the art, bring to the surface the creative talent in Canberra,” said Peter Naumann, Head of Education and Public Programs at the National Gallery of Australia.

A key premise of The Big Draw is to encourage different ways of seeing; for participants to explore drawing as experimentation, problem solving and a tool for thinking. Some of the highlights of the program include tape drawing on the walls of the Gallery and responding to the luminous colours in the exhibition, McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17, with window collages.

The Big Draw is about the whole sensory experience of engaging with art and the world around you. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of creativity, with musicians performing pieces inspired by the art at different locations throughout the Gallery. There will be a trumpet player improvising in response to Pop art and Abstract Expressionism and a gamelan performer in the Asian galleries.

In presenting The Big Draw, the Gallery also involves the ANU Art School, with up and coming artists present on the day to provide demonstrations and assist in the workshops.

This year the National Portrait Gallery will also be holding a number of drawing-related activities around the theme of architecture.

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