Exquisite Bangor at the Arts Night at North Down Museum

On Friday night, I joined the Arts Night at the Museum at North Down Museum, and it was loads of fun! I took part as a member of Boom Studios, and it was a blast. Participants could go around the museum and join in arts activities at different stations.

My workshop was in a room full of historical costumes, maps, and weapons. People seemed to come in waves, it was quite busy at times. It was so great drawing in that setting. I wish I got photos of the works in progress!

I used format of The Exquisite Book as inspiration and Lynda Barry’s “future of education” project from the University of Wisconson.

As participants sat down, I asked them to think about those people and how they couldn’t possibly have imagined our world today. I asked them to imagine what Bangor would be like in the future. And then draw it!

There was no shortage of ideas!

The Exquisite Book is based on the Dada idea of ‘exquisite corpse.’ That method involves folding up a piece of paper, marking out edges of a neck or waist, and passing it among collaborators who each draw a section without seeing the other. Hilarity ensues when you see the mid-matched heads and bodies.

The Exquisite Book was done with 100 artists collaborating, and pages are attached to each other with lines at each edge connecting one very long image. It’s broken into sections.

The concept was simple to explain and I love the range of drawing styles the book demonstrates. Pro tip- Make sure you tape up any naughty pictures if you’re doing an all-ages workshop. Eek! I thankfully caught that before folks arrived!

I was situated at the entrance almost so lots of people stopped by. There was so much going on, from pottery, jewellery, painting, and felt-making. I noticed some parents trying to nudge their kids along to try more adventurous things. After all this was JUST drawing. But there’s something about it. When you see people drawing, you want to draw too. It was something easy and fun. I loved seeing adults giggle saying ‘I can’t draw’ and then they go do the most AMAZING drawings. I’m looking forward to assembling the book.

I was swamped at times, and I was dizzy listening to so many amazing stories what a brilliant place Bangor will be. That was so much fun, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

My next task is to get the pages tacked together, and I have to make a cover too. I’ll have the book available at Boom Studios. If you’d like to come see it, and come and draw, visit us at the Boom Community Art Club on Wednesday nights in Bangor!

Here’s an example from the book. Wow. OK. So this young boy explained that in the future, the world is remade everyday from this huge machine. It is attached to someone’s head, and each day the world is made up out of their imagination. As you can see here, there’s houses right side up and upside down. There’s tree people and unicorns. There’s houses floating in the sky, only held down by huge long chains to keep them from flying away!

I loved this Candy Land Bangor too. In the future, Bangor is entirely made of candy. Candy floss mountains, lollipop trees, a coca-cola river, with oreos floating in it. You can see people skipping on the Oreos. And then a looooong chocolate bar train track. The young girl said, if you go home and your parents have salad for dinner, you can say ‘no thanks’ and go eat anything outside!

Absolutely amazing 😀

If I wasn’t running a workshop, I would have attended on my own. That was a blast.



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