Contributors: The Big Draw Festival Launch 2016

Thursday 22nd September, 2016

Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M15 6ER (map)

The launch of The Big Draw Festival 2016 - the world's biggest drawing festival - will be taking place at the award-winning Whitworth art gallery in Manchester on Thursday 22nd September.

The launch of The Big Draw Festival will begin with an afternoon of interactive STEAM inspired drawing activities for children and families (1 - 4pm), followed by an illustration showdown for arts and sciences students and an evening of sci-art films, live drawing, music and experimentation for over 18s (6 - 9pm).  


Afternoon / Evening



“Come in to our driving school. Grab your tool kit, choose your car, colour, and drive!”


Ready Steady GO! is an immersive theatre piece for 3-9 year olds and their families, which allows the audience to create, decorate and drive cardboard cars, while being entertained by a live performance.

‘What an amazing idea! At last something exciting and fun!’ - Timeout magazine 

What to expect… The audience enter 'The Driving School.’ Each member is given a cardboard car and a tool kit containing ‘colouring in goodies’ (felt tip pens, giant crayons, jumbo ink pads, sponge rollers). They decorate their car using all the weird and wonderful materials whilst being entertained through storytelling, music, movement and clowning by 3 performers. But it doesn’t stop there! Having coloured-in their car, the children will be invited to take it through the Driving School, past a zebra crossing, through a green light, through the hazardous snow and even stopping to let an old lady cross the street! As they pass their driving test they can finally take their decorated cardboard car home with them.



"Draw on the floor! Are you sure?"

Okido is the arts and science magazine for kids that helps children learn through play. The Okido team also run exciting workshops that stimulate creativity and inspire scientific interest.

What to expect… An interactive floor-drawing workshop, where children can sit on and design a creative carpet, or luminous library, piled with free Okido magazines for reading, drawing and exploring.



"Teen wonder-cartoonist"


15-year old Londoner, Zoom Rockman, has been writing, drawing and publishing his own award-winning comic The Zoom! since he was 8; he started working for The Beano! when he was 12, and has a monthly comic strip featuring his character, ‘Skanky Pigeon' - inspired by all the local Pigeons in his home town.

Recently, Zoom has designed the T-Shirts for a campaign for Refugee children, called #LetTheChildrenIn. He’s met ex-Prime Minister, David Cameron, featured in Evening Standard’s Power 1000 list of influential Londoners, is a member of the Mayor’s Fund Youth Board, an ambassador for Positive Youth in Haringey, Spirit of London Awards (he won their media award in 2012), and BICOF Comic Festival in South Korea (he won their international kids comic artist award for 2 years running). He also runs regular cartoon workshops around the country in schools and at festivals. 



"Digital Portrait Artist Extraordinaire"

Tanya Raabe-Webber is an acclaimed disabled artist challenging the notion of identity within contemporary portraiture, often creating portraits of high profile disabled people during live sittings in high profile public art galleries and venues.

The winner of Ability Media International Award, Visual Arts in 2010 and DaDa International Festival, Visual Arts Award 2008, Tanya has also appeared on the BBC programme The Culture Show and was recently shortlisted for The National Diversity Awards Lifetime Achievement. She is currently working on Portraits Untold, a unique project celebrating the diversity of our common humanity through a series of live portrait sittings with high profile sitters in well-known venues, will take place this summer and autumn across the country.



'Manchester Comic Artist'

Oliver East is a comic artist from Manchester, UK. He creates excuses to go on very long walks to then make comic books about them. He was wondered from Manchester to Liverpool, Blackpool and Stoke, Edinburgh to Manchester, Arnside to Carlisle, Berlin to Poland and, most recently, Helsinki to Tampere.


  Afternoon / Evening


"Sci-fi drawing salon"

 Art Macabre drawing salons offering curiousity, theatricality and a little bit more than your average life drawing class. RIP boring life drawing, hello death drawing.

We invite you to grab an artistic weapon of choice and come make some killer marks with us.

At each event, a different deadly or theatrical theme will be explored through the human form, costume, props and multi-media. 


DJ Drew Dunn aka Breezy for Real

We're very excited to have DJ Drew Dunn for our Drawing Rave. Be hypnotised by space beats and draw whatever comes to mind (and hand) by his magical mixes. Drew first started playing vinyl when he was three years old, Marvin Gaye albums were then his favourite. Drew's mother launched  Virgin Records with Richard Branson and was responsible for pressing all their vinyl in the 80s, of which Drew got to keep the original pressing. Drew is also a trained artist and experiments with numerous creative formats.


"Synesthesic Lumen Prize Finalist"

We are thrilled to be hosting David's incredible piece "Visus Sonitus I" and a filmed Q&A Courtesy of Lumen Prize. David, in his own words:

'Since I can remember, I have been able to see colours while hearing sounds and music. This is a perceptual condition called synaesthesia and it deeply influences my works. During the last years, I have created video animations that reflects visually what I hear, mostly Contemporary Classical music pieces or sounds of Nature. The last one "Visus Sonitus I" , based on the "Concert for Birds and Orchestra" by acclaimed composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, was finalist of Lumen Prize 2015.

My artistic concept tries to go beyond mental categories, to access an augmented state of consciousness where opposite concepts and perceptions blend. Each of my works is conceived then to raise a global sense of empathy and awareness, not only with the pure sensations that live in the here and now, but also, at a deeper level, with the mysterious and fascinating forces of Nature in constant motion and quest for balance.

Finally, I am also a lecturer and a professional in the film industry and work as Senior FX Technical Director, creating visual effects for movies.


"Ever since the computer was invented, artists have been experimenting with how to use it to advance their craft. David Moraton's work is a wonderful example of how this exciting exploration continues today."
 - Carla Rapoport, Director & Founder of The Lumen Prize


Other contributors include: 


'Evolution of the Peppered Moth' with Stanley Grove Primary School

Early Years Atelier with Isobel Pickup

A Minecraft workshop with Gemma Latham

Life drawing with Sarah Sanders

Sci-Art Drawing Battle hosted by Whitworth Young Contemporaries

PLUS, the Drawing Rave with DJ drew Dunn!


This event is organised by The Big Draw in partnership with The Whitworth, Manchester and Lumen Prize with support from Arts Council England.