Drawing with Light: Tate Liverpool and CAMHS

As part of my practice, I create immersive environments that incorporate different sensory materials, objects, darkened spaces, a range of light sources and music or sound. I am particularly interested in the ways such spaces can provoke different behaviours: building confidence,  heightening a positive, relaxed mood and sense of fun, wonder and well-being.

As part of a series of workshops with young people from the Liverpool CAMHS network, I was asked by Tate to develop a concept around 'Drawing with Light', taking the current Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition as a source of inspiration. The aim was to set-up a comfortable, relaxed, darkened space which would encourage different groups of young people to come together, socialise, participate in creative activity and leave with a positive feeling and sense of themselves.

In response to key Pollock artworks, participants were encouraged to engage freely with action mark-making while listening to abstract electronic music. The marks then began to turn into drawings that could be projected onto different surfaces through different digital and analogue and projection devices within a specially devised installation space. Time was also given for the group to socialise and catch up on CAMHS news.

As there was a lot going on in the workshop, I didn't have the chance to document to the extent I normally do, so a photographer was brought in on behalf of Tate to capture the process on film. The only blurry snapshot I do have is of some smiling people at the end who took hold of some finger lights and began to move and 'draw' with light. The young people had initially come into the room feeling nervous, shy and anxious. However, as the session drew to a close (at the time this snapshot was taken), the volume of voices, laughter and smiles and congregated groups chatting, not wanting to leave, was a sign for me that the space had acted as a container of positive interaction. I'm looking forward to developing this space again soon elsewhere.