Drawing, Space and Articulation - Workshop with Stephanie Roberts 10th August

Maindee Library invites you to a workshop on Thursday 10th August [1pm to 4pm] hosted by talented local artist Stephanie Roberts. Stephanie introduces us to her new project Out of my Mind and she wants the community to join in.

Stephanie Roberts drawing
We were lucky enough to meet Stephanie at the library to talk about her project. This blog account, with insight and emphais added by library volunteer Victoria O'Hagan, describes what we learned.

Stephanie started by showing us her pencil drawings inside her racing-green sketchbook. Where she had draw intricate automatic (blind) drawings that explore the movement of line and the speed in which line travels around space to explain an emotion or place. Not conscious designs; they were not intended to look like anything at all. But they became what is felt internally towards a subject matter. Stephanie is interested in these drawings to bring insight into how we feel about our relationship to place or self.

The 3 stages to the approach

1. Introduction of colour and texture connected to space

2. Observing the lines that our eye follows to travel around space

3. Using blind drawings to then tap into how we feel about a space encouraging the subconscious mind to aid this process

These stages will be explained in more detail below. First of all it is important to introduce an important term from mosaic art.


Andamento is the visual flow and direction within a mosaic produced by the placement of rows of tesserae or tiles. This appears in the mosaic art Stephanie specialises in: tiles flow in a pattern creating their unique andamento, creating a speed in which your eye travels around a framed space.

Stephanie wants to introduce andamento to you at her workshop. She wants to teach you how to communicate through other forms of articulation than word or voice, but with colour, line and encouraging drawn sub-conscious thoughts. Stephanie will firstly invite you to think about how colour makes you feel in a space. Then explore the speed in which the eye or pencil line travels around space and physical objects. Finally using the Automatic Drawing concept, a process coined by the Surrealists, and a technique used by Miro, Hundertwasser and Salvador Dali, to encourage the concept of drawing how we feel about the space, drawing with our eyes closed.

What we hope will come from this session

The outcomes reveal a multi layered colourful andamento of how individuals relate to space. A concept that began to be explored in her last New Paths project Mosaic Maindee - Time and Place, where Stephanie developed a process of looking at Maindee's andamento through mosaic art. 

Mosaics created last year with Stephanie Roberts
The image above shows a moscais created at a community session in 2016. Victoria O'Hagan add some further context to why she feels this approach is important: 

"Like writers who practice free verse, Stephanie’s, project is an attempt to find truth, clarity and meaningful self-expression without being penned-in by self-censorship or structured language. She believes the act of blind drawing has therapeutic benefits, and she should know – she uses it to deal with communication problems caused by her dyslexia.

Dyslexia is not just a problem with reading and spelling – it can affect a person’s ability to follow conversations and express their point of view, which can lead to frustration and even depression. But blind drawing can produce surprising results, discovering memories and feelings that language has failed to articulate, kept alive only as abstract images in a neglected corner of the mind."

Introducing Stephanie's show at the Riverfront from September 27th - 30th October 2017

The wider Out of my Mind project supported by the Arts Council of Wales. There will be an exhibition at the Riverfront between September 27th - 30th October. At Maindee we are happy to support this wider work. In Victoria O'Hagan's own words:

"We all experience it from time to time, the feeling that we have ideas that are never fully expressed, sensations that have no words. In this modern world, isolation and poverty strip people of their voices, and communication has been reduced to texts and tweets. Stephanie wants to show us how to communicate ourselves in a new way, a simple way. You need no artistic talent, no fancy box of paints or lumps of clay."

In the meantime we look forward to you showing up at the library from 1pm on the 10th of August, close your eyes, and…draw.


Related Links

Website for Stephanie Roberts

The Arts Council of Wales

 Exhibition at Riverfront Sept 27th - 30th Oct

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