The Drawing Room
The only public gallery in Europe dedicated to drawing auctions art for next to nix.
For many of us, our first foray into the world of creation is a rainbow of unintelligible scribbles on a sheet of A4 paper. These chaotic expressions of our childhood creativity may, over the years, evolve into something more sophisticated - shopping lists, bad poetry or, for those of us artistically inclined, paintings. But it is our formative doodling that provides the fertile ground from which our future creative endeavours will prosper.
The foundational importance of drawing is at the root of London-based gallery The Drawing Room's ethos. Promoting the practice, theory and methodology behind the humble sketch, the gallery aims to inject excitement and dynamism into a medium oft overshadowed by the bigger and bolder. As the only non-profit public gallery dedicated to drawing in the United Kingdom and Europe, The Drawing Room has gone to great efforts to instill its passion for the pencil into the public psyche through initiatives such as the Biennial Fundraiser.
Established and fledgling artists - among them Turner prize winners and nominees - are sent a sheet of A4 paper upon which they can draw anything their heart or hand desires. The result is a varied collection of works ranging from the lifelike to the absurd, the domestic to the political and the aesthetic to the downright bizarre. Bidding starts at ?250 for all pieces, and if you can't visit the gallery's Hackney headquarters to participate, you can bid online for works by artists such as Grayson Perry and Mark Wallinger. While the Biennial Fundraiser provides the ideal opportunity for novice art enthusiasts to start their own collection, a bargain isn't guaranteed. In 2007, a violent bidding war for Portuguese artist Paula Rego's contribution saw the work reach 10,000.
The auction will continue until 18 May and culminate in a silent auction that will see exciting works go for a pittance or a small fortune. You can place your bids through the Drawing Room's website.
Words: Lillian McKnight