Royal Collection Trust listed not one but three events on The Big Draw site at selected weekend days throughout October this year. 7th October saw crowds of people putting pencil to paper at Windsor Castle, 16th October celebrated a week of visual literacy at the magnificent Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and there were two days of half-term drawing at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace on 26th and 27th October. We asked them a few questions about their Big Draw Festival story for 2017!
BD: Royal Collection Trust obviously has history at the centre of its ethos with public engagement. Tell us some of the ways you’ve folded the fantastic historical collections you have into the – at first glance – modern theme of Living Lines for 2017’s Big Draw Festival.
RCT: The Royal Collection is one of the most incredible and wide-ranging art collections in the world, so we had a wonderful range of items to be inspired by. The Royal Mews for example is a working, living stable – all the carriages and horses you see take part in royal events – and we thought they would make an excellent subject to focus on for this year's Big Draw. Across all our sites we have been inspired by the living, working, everyday elements of our Palaces and Castle.
BD: There are many precious objects and environments across all of your sites. What are some challenges you’ve found with opening up these grand spaces to large-scale drawing events while still keeping everything safe?
RCT: The Royal Collection is held in trust for the nation by The Queen, so opening up these spaces and sharing the Collection with everyone is a hugely important part of what we do. All our sites are open almost every day of the year for people to come and enjoy the Collection, and we have a great team of wardens and conservators who look after all the items in the Collection to make sure they can be enjoyed for decades to come, so opening up our spaces for the Big Draw was something we can take in our stride.
BD: What motivates Royal Collection Trust to take part in The Big Draw Festival? Have you found any benefits from taking part that you think potentially interested organisers should know about?
RCT: Taking part in the Big Draw is a wonderful opportunity for Royal Collection Trust to celebrate art and artists, both professional and budding, with museums and galleries across the country. There is something very exciting knowing that up and down the country public spaces are celebrating art, and that we are a part of that. Having the marketing support of the Big Draw to complement our own social and print media is brilliant as well to let as many people as possible know about Royal Collection Trust and what we do.
BD: Royal Collection Trust has a hugely comprehensive overview of work by the 18th century Venetian master Canaletto. His paintings of the canals of Venice are iconic even to this day. What do you think Canaletto might have made of the concept of visual literacy? Perhaps there’s a modern young artist at one of your events willing to give Edinburgh or London the 21st century Canaletto treatment…
RCT: Canaletto was a brilliant artist who combined real life views with his own imagination to create his exceptional artwork. He played with the rules to make something completely unique, and we hope that the young artists who come along to our events will allow their imagination to run wild and to create something they are very proud of. Sometimes when you forget the rules, you end up with the most amazing artwork, just as Canaletto did with his views of Venice.
BD:Finally is there anything else you would like to add? Do you have any advice you would like to give historical sites that might wish to take part in The Big Draw Festival?
RCT: Think big and have fun!
Royal Collection Trust is a Big Draw Festival 2017 Sponsor-Partner.
The Big Draw's worldwide impact is made possible by the support of many organisations and individuals who share its vision. Without them and the commitment of hundreds of venues across the globe, our mission would be unachievable. Interested in becoming a festival Sponsor-Partner? Take a look here for some of the benefits.
We hope you enjoyed our interview with Royal Collection Trust! If you have been inspired by their insights why not become a part of the world's largest drawing festival in 2017 or 2018?
Anyone can organise an event, and you can register at any time! Click below to find out more about becoming a Big Draw Festival Organiser in 2017 for #LivingLines17: