The Big Draw Festival 2018 Award Winners Statements

"We are extremely excited to have won the Secondary School Award, and would like to thank everyone at The Big Draw. Not only is this an honour for the Art Department at Kingsdale Foundation School, but it is also an achievement for the whole school.

Taking part in this prestigious competition has allowed us to engage with students across all year groups who not only enjoy art and want to do more, but also those who specialise in other areas and no longer take art as part of their curriculum.

The theme of ‘Play’ inspired us to explore synesthesia by uniting the senses of hearing to the process of drawing sound, so at the core of the piece was music by our incredible Junior Steel Pan Band. This was a fantastic opportunity to work collaboratively with the music, dance and drama departments and to dispel the idea that you have to be good at drawing to create brilliant and exciting art. We loved how all the students were so open and willing to embrace all the different aspects of our entry, and how the cross-curricular links have forged strong bonds across the school for both staff and students."

- Amy Brocklesby - Teacher of Art and Design, Kingsdale Foundation School


"Since opening in 2014 Hauser & Wirth Somerset has enjoyed celebrating the Big Draw as a key component in our education programme. Each year our education team works hard to respond to the given theme in relation to our exhibitions, and we enjoy the way in which this challenge is then celebrated with our wider community. The Big Draw offers a fantastic platform for Hauser & Wirth to champion the value of creativity and arts education through the work of internationally recognised artists. This year it is a double celebration as the whole activity was the result of the work of our MA Curation work placement from University of West of England, Fili Harrington. Inspiring others and learning at the same time is at the heart of our educational ethos and we are proud to accept this award from the Big Draw, which has the capacity to extend this message to so many others. Thank you to the Big Draw!"

- Debbie Hillyerd - Education Team, Hauser & Wirth Somerset


"At Strong Close Nursery School children's interests and play is at the heart of everything we do. The school has been through a significant amount of change over recent years and it was important that staff were supported in both maintaining and developing a high quality curriculum, working with parents wherever possible. The school already valued the arts in the curriculum, however we needed the inspiration and support that working with an Artist can have on practice. In appointing Lou Sumray we gained the energy and commitment to do this through the use of a range of media and materials. Entering The Big Draw was symbolic of all this and so we are delighted that the impact of this partnership has been recognised in this award. When Lou interacts with the children she starts with their ideas and promotes the joy of creativity and exploration in their play which has then developed into all areas of our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. We are also a designated centre for Early Years Enhanced Specialist provision, offering inclusive places for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. An important part of Lou's work through the Big Draw programme has been to include all children and families, by encouraging a variety of activities which have enhanced a range of expression and communication. We are all so thrilled on winning the Big Draw Award and it is a fitting tribute to the amazing work created by Lou and our families during this project of play and drawing."

- Helen Jones - Acting Head, School Strong Close Nursery School


"It’s like winning an Oscar ! (I imagine) but it’s better because it’s about drawing - no disrespect to the film industry but for me drawing is the bees knees, it’s fundamental in my world, it can change the world, or at least affirm our existence in it and celebrate, explain and support our existence in it. I’m not dissing other things but as you can hear it is in my core - so, what do I think about Strong Close winning a Big Draw award? Bloomin ‘eck, bloomin marvellous.

Strong Close Nursery is one of the fantastic Nursery Schools in the Bradford District that, against the tide, has a belief in the Artist being a key member of the staff in an Early Years setting. I’m so privileged to be that Artist and to support the amazing staff and work that happens there. So Yippee when their belief and work gets recognised, thankyou."

- Lou Sumray - Artist, School Strong Close Nursery School


"Working on The Big Draw with a ‘real’ artist in her own gallery was thrilling for my lower Primary pupils. They experimented and played with charcoal and worked en plein air with confidence and enjoyment. Taking part in The Big Draw raised their confidence and self-esteem, and art has opened doors in their imagination and given them a sense of achievement and aspiration. Several of them now want to be working artists, one wants to be an illustrator, and two want to open up their own gallery! Result! I am so proud of their achievements, and so pleased to be part of something that is raising the profile of Art and making it so accessible." 

- Samantha Rogers - Teacher, Ynyshir Primary School


"Drawing outside can be a challenge – finding the right location, battling the weather and creating a comfortable and safe place to work from can take tenacity and a little bit of bravery. I was inspired by the way the pupils of Ynyshir Primary School and teacher Samantha enthusiastically embraced the idea of drawing their village ‘en plein air’ for The Big Draw. When rain began to fall during the outdoor session, I was amazed to see that the young people were more concerned about their drawings getting wet, than themselves. They weren’t simply observing and drawing the buildings but they were seeing through drawing, their own village and the special moments and details that bring a scene to life. They drew the birds that fleeting perched on the rooftops, the passing clouds full of rain and the afternoon light that reflected in the windows of a church whilst casting shadows across doorways and pavements. It was wonderful to see the power of drawing bringing the village to life and the raindrops in the charcoal just made it a little bit more magical.

There is often a feeling that the voices of those in the Welsh valleys are ignored or seldom listened to. But winning this national award shows us all that the universal language of art has the power to communicate the positive things happening in our community. It makes us proud of who we are and what we can achieve together. It's something to celebrate! "

- Gayle Rogers - Artist, Ynyshir Primary School


"We must say we are really thrilled to be receiving the 2018 People’s Choice Award during Play! edition of The Big Draw.

We want to start by thanking Matilda, Rachel, Kate, Sandra and the whole The Big Draw organization for being so present, kind and helpful the whole time in the making of last year's events. Thank you Carta Fabriano: your support was concrete, immediate and absolutely perfect. As artists, we've been using your tools forever and knowing we were in touch in the making of the 2018 edition was exciting!

We’ve spent so much time wishing to get in touch with you and to be part of this amazing drawing-related experience that being here today in this wonderful occasion is motivating: we want to do more, and better.

Thank you Museo Nazionale Romano Palazzo Altemps and Sara Colantonio, thank you Centro di Documentazione della Ricerca Artistica Contemporanea Luigi di Sarro, Jole di Sarro and Alessandra Atti di Sarro for joining us in this adventure, believing in our project 24H Drawing Lab and being available and supportive all of the time.

Thanks to our students: knowing that all of this came out of your support to the point of spending a while to vote for us is really moving. Reading your words made us see clearly the effect of the work that we truly believe in: love for drawing is contagious!

Thanks to our family who strongly support what is still considered in Italy as 'non-conventional' work.

24H Drawing Lab is a project born from a common path that photographer Rivka Spizzichino and visual artist Sara Spizzichino have carried out since 2013, with the aim of giving everyone the opportunity to know how to draw and learn about the importance of drawing as a way of communicating emotions to others. The Drawing Lab considers drawing as a non-verbal thinking process: an act of self-confidence where someone needs to trust themself to capture reality. We strongly believe in the multidisciplinary nature of drawing as well, which embraces various fields of knowledge beyond art, such as mathematics, psychology, medicine, astronomy and many others.

24H Drawing Lab is an intensive 24 hour drawing workshop/marathon where everyone, including those who never believed they could draw, can find a creative way of self-expression through drawing: life is better, indeed, if faced with creativity.

Through the years, Drawing Lab has collected, thanks to their students, over 20,000 drawings made and reviewed. A course that was a real training for people admitted to prestigious academies such as RUFA - Rome University of Fine Art, Academy of Fine Arts, Roman School of Comics and School of Science and Technology and that has trained, in 2016 the 52 designers of the Shadow Puppets for William Kentridge's masterpiece, Triumphs and Laments.

A unique experience that allowed those who do not practice professions related to drawing, to know its methods and ploys."

- Rivka Spizzichino & Sara Spikkichino - founders of 24H Drawing Lab


"It is such a huge honour for St George's CE Primary School Worcester to have won a Big Draw Festival Award for our 'Playing with Lost Words' Big Draw. The project was inspired by Jackie Morris' and Robert Macfarlane's beautiful book with its celebration of nature communicated through words and picture.  Our Big Draw was about celebrating play in and with the natural world. It is a fantastic achievement for a small school like St George's to have won this award and it is particularly important in the 21st century that we should do all that is possible to encourage children, families and teachers, in fact everyone, to draw anytime, anyplace and anywhere!"

- Claire Horacek - St George's CE Primary School


"My favourite teaching day of the year is The Big Draw. It is a great honour to win an award this year. At Braeburn, we as a school were fully immersed in the playful nature of Art and discovery. Our school became a canvas to reinvent.  Each pupil learnt about the work of Jackson Pollock: splashing, dripping, spraying, blowing and dancing with paint. It was a very messy day which enabled all the students to embrace their creativity, while also having fun. The Big draw event showcases the students' talent in a collaborative forum, giving our school community a great opportunity to push the limits of Art."

- Suzanne Creevey - Head of Art, Braeburn School 


“We are absolutely thrilled to have won an award for ‘Community, Libraries & Participation’ with The Big Draw.  As an organisation it is really important for us that we provide a service to our community that is beyond shopping and The Big Draw has really helped us to do this authentically in 2018. It is so evident from the past year that the people of Romford love to draw, and we have so many stories of people coming together and really enjoying the experience of putting pencil to paper, either as a self-proclaimed enthusiast or just as someone who had forgotten their joy for drawing. We are looking forward to the 2019 theme and will be reflecting on some of our favourite moments from last year to really accelerate participation this year.”

- Natalie Bays - The Mercury Mall