SKETCH FOR SKERRIES

A COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY SKETCHBOOK PROJECT

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An initiative of Skerries-based artist Kristina Keegan of Galleria Kristina (www.galleriakristina.com) in collaboration with several local community groups and organisations and the people of Skerries and surrounding areas.  The list of collaborating groups is growing each day, so check back on this page to see who else has joined in!  

We are currently collaborating with: Sustainable Skerries, Skerries Library, Skerries Community Gardens, Skerries Community Centre and YOU!

What is it?

It is a community art collaboration that seeks to collect sketches from the general public under an environmental theme, and will result in a portable exhibition of these sketches in the form of a handmade scrapbook/sketchbook.

What is its aim?

The aim of the Collaborative Sketchbook Project  is to encourage COLLABORATION and AWARENESS OF OUR ENVIRONMENT through ACCESSIBLE ART (Sketching and doodling)

How will it work?

I would like to invite people of all ages and all abilities to join me in this project, and to create a sketch (or donate an already existing sketch) inspired by any ONE of the following headings: 

LIFE 

LAND

SEA

SKY  

Whether it is a quick sketch or a mere doodle,  I would like to encourage as many people as possible to create something visual under one of the themes mentioned above, and to donate it to be exhibited in a collaborative community sketchbook/scrapbook. Since the sketches (no bigger than A5) will be mounted in a book, the creations should ideally be made on something thin, such as paper.  Even a napkin, the back of post-it note, an old page from a notebook etc. are all acceptable. Finished artwork on heavier supports like wood, framed canvas board or very thick card are not appropriate for this project and would not fit comfortably into a scrapbook.  Once collected and mounted in the scrapbook (which I will be making myself and binding by hand) I will be seeking the help of community groups to decorate the cover.  Each sketch will be grouped inside the book by the heading that inspired it. Each sketch may sit beside that of an experienced artist, a novice, a child or an adult, a person who has only picked up a pencil twice in 50 years to doodle while on the telephone, or a person who sketches every day, a person who draws for fun or a person who only cobbles something together at the very last minute when they wake up on Father’s Day/spouse’s birthday etc.  and realises they forgot to buy a card!

I will be approaching people from all corners of the community to encourage them to make a contribution and hopefully convince them that their contribution  is wanted, encouraged, welcomed, and needed.  I will be setting up boxes in the local library, at the BeeFest and in several other locations to collect people’s offerings, and will be carefully mounting them in a purpose-made, hand-crafted community scrapbook. The book will then be taken on its first outing, and put on display at Skerries Eco Festival on 27th – 29th September at the Little Theatre.

What will happen to the sketches after the Skerries Eco Festival?

Ideally, they will remain in the book for years to come.  A sketch can be removed again after September should the creator request it, however, the request and email address must be included in writing on the back of the sketch.  Those who donate their sketch to the scrapbook will be contributing to a project that will evolve over time, as the book can be expanded to fit future contributions on a yearly basis and exhibited at future events. This will be a COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE SKETCHBOOK.  However, like trees and all living things that grow, it needs a guardian. I will do my utmost to keep these sketches safe but I will not own this sketchbook. I will not make reproductions of any donated sketches but photographs of pages of the book may appear online in various forms to discuss the project.   The copyright of every single sketch in the book remains with the individual who created it. It is my hope that the book will grow into a portable mini-gallery.  It will represent a snapshot of our community’s varied perspectives, the way each individual member of our community interprets the words LIFE, LAND, SEA, SKY.  In the future I hope I will be able to display the Community Sketchbook in a variety of public community spaces.

Why should I take part?

Do you have an opinion on what you see around you?  

Do you like it?  

What do you like?  

What do you dislike?  

Do you you like drawing?  

Do you think you CAN’T draw? 

Do you think your voice counts?  

Do you think your voice hasn’t been heard?  

A message we may all be familiar with when communicating on the subject of Climate change, sustainable living,  biodiversity, community etc. is that together we are stronger.

For example, the slogan on the Eco Festival logo is “Turning the tide together”.  I am sure the inclusion of the word “TOGETHER” was no accident! But is it realistic?  Can we ACTUALLY turn the tide together?

Many could be forgiven for saying this is easier said than done, and some may question whether we should even try.  Collaborations can be difficult when we don’t see eye to eye, and when we struggle to find that  balance or flow that works for everyone.  But I want to explore the idea that collaborations don’t have to be about feeling pushed or pulled in a particular direction.  Can a collaboration be fun for all involved and still bear fruit?  This is where the sketchbook project comes in.

I have a core belief that anyone can draw, and that drawing is FUN!  Not everyone shares my view, but I still believe it and I have yet to meet anyone who can convince me otherwise. (If you think you are one of the mythical people who cannot draw, I challenge you to sketch alongside me and create something for the Sketchbook project! Lets see if you can convince me that you can’t draw!)

The definition of a sketch is:  “a rough or unfinished drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture.”   Sketching is about trying something, about actively picking up a pen, a pencil, a brush, a piece of charcoal, a crayon, whatever, and making your mark, wherever that may lead.  It is not about creating a perfect finished product.  It is not about being good or bad, talented or not talented.  It is not about being right or wrong.  Not everyone feels ready to create a finished painting, but I would argue that a constant sketcher or doodler who never finishes a single piece of art, is still an artist, and still has a valid contribution to make in this world.  Everyone was once able to pick up a crayon and create a sketch.  We only need to ask a child to know this is true.  Adults sometimes need a little more convincing.  

Sketching in the world of Art has a lot in common with “Turning the tide together” when it comes to the challenges we are facing with our environment.  Sometimes we convince ourselves that we have nothing to contribute, that we are not powerful enough, that we don’t have the skills, that our voice only counts if we come up with the “perfect” solution, a “finished” product to make our contribution worthwhile, or that collaboration takes too much effort, that it isn’t fun and is downright difficult.  Let’s give this a try, and let the project speak for itself.  

FAQs – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What should I draw?

Whatever you like, as long as your sketch is inspired by one of the following words:

LIFE, LAND, SEA or SKY

Is this a competition?

NO!  Absolutely not!

What age group is this project aimed at?

This is an inclusive project aimed at ALL AGES AND ABILITIES.

How many sketches can I donate?

Between 1 and 3 sketches.

What size?

Each sketch must not exceed A5 (148mm X 210mm. Half of an A4).  This is to ensure they fit in our book!

What can I sketch with?

Anything you like.  It would make life easier for me if you used something that doesn’t smudge, but I will accept sketches created with any medium, ranging from pencils, crayons, pens, even paint, so long as it is not applied too thickly (remember the sketches will need to sit comfortably between the pages of a book!).  Sketches created using digital media are also accepted, though these must be printed and submitted on a paper no bigger than A5.

What can I sketch on?

Paper, thin card, tissue, napkins, scraps, fabric, back of an old postcard…. If it is thin and light enough to be stuck in a book then it goes in the book.  Please don’t submit anything framed, mounted on canvas, wood or anything thick as we will not be able to include it in the scrapbook.  The idea is also that the finished scrapbook resembles a giant “sketchbook”, not a formal gallery catalogue of finished artwork!

Should I submit originals or photocopies/prints?

Originals would make the sketchbook arguably more interesting and enjoyable to browse through.  They are tactile and show the raw immediacy of your creation.  However, we understand how difficult it may be for some to part with an original sketch or doodle, however rough or “sketchy” it may be.  So good quality, small (no bigger than A5) photocopy or print of your sketch would be accepted in these cases.  No glossy photos please.  

Will my name be shown next to my sketch?

Yes, your name and surname will be displayed if you have written it clearly on the back of your sketch, unless you wish your contribution to be anonymous (let us know!).

 Will my age be shown next to my sketch?

No.

I have created a sketch!  How can I give it to you?

A “drop-off” box with a colourful poster of the “Sketch for Skerries” project will be placed in the following locations:

Skerries Library (between 22nd July and 15th September 2024)

Skerries Community Centre (between 22nd July and 15th September 2024) (to be confirmed)

The Skerries Bee Festival Art Tent, Skerries Mills (20th &21st July)

If you cannot make it in person to the above locations, you may post your sketch to:

(Address to be confirmed soon)

Will I get my sketch back?

Ideally, the sketches would remain in the book.  This is so that we can display the book at a variety of events and locations, and build on it by adding new sketches if the project is repeated at any time.

However, upon request, individual sketches can be collected after September. Please put your request and an email address in writing on the back of the sketch.  We will contact you to inform you of dates and locations you can collect it from.   If you want the sketch to be returned by post, please include a stamped, addressed envelope for us to use instead.  

Anything else I should know?

Just have fun, and remember that the sketches will be viewed by people of all ages, so please bear this in mind.  Try not to include content that could be upsetting to young children.