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Drawing, Well-being and the Exploration of Everyday Place

228 Sketches of Clifton Street

image of Drawing, Well-being and the Exploration of Everyday Place


Over 200 observational drawings created every day from the same window reveal life in an ordinary English street in extraordinary times.

This visual record and accompanying prose is a unique meditation on place, nature, community, time and mental well-being. Through this qualitative work we gain insight into the individual and collective experience and place-specific impacts of the pandemic, as opposed to the quantitative statistics of mortality and infection rates that characterise daily media soundbites and scientific discourse surrounding lockdown.

Five themes are central to the drawings, highlighting the environmental and social factors influencing daily life, and how these can be perceived and recorded via observational drawing: ‘framing space’ foregrounds the importance of widows as an interface between interior and exterior worlds; ‘observing nature and the built environment’ celebrates the street and garden as sites of human-nature relations that support well-being; ‘watching people’ focusses on the activities typify living under lockdown including isolation, socially distanced interactions and working from home; ‘drawing’ reflects on the multiple professional and personal benefits of drawing; and mindful awareness is discussed throughout, affirming the value of appreciating everyday life through drawing practice.

Related Topics: Cultural Studies ; Visual Arts

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