Interview with artist Anita Taylor

Professor Anita Taylor is an artist,  Dean of the School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize and Founder of Drawing Projects UK which has a new base at Bridge House, Trowbridge.

Bridge House

Last week, I popped into Bridge House to see The Discerning Eye Collection which is being shown there until May 29th.  This is a free exhibition and really worth seeing.

Discerning Eye Collection

A few of my favourites from the exhibition

It’s also a wonderful opportunity to visit Drawing Projects UK and find out more about Anita’s plans to develop a creative and cultural hub in the centre of Trowbridge.

When I met Anita, I asked her

Q. What’s in your bag and what does it say about you?

inside bag 2

A. It says that there is a mobile office in my bag! – mobile because  I work across multiple campuses and sites.

Q. Do you use your iPad for drawing?

A. No, I need paper and pencil.  I have many notebooks and sketchbooks.  I draw on anything.

Q. So you might draw between meetings, for example?

A. Between meetings, during meetings (perhaps you shouldn’t write that!). I doodle constantly.

Anita Taylor

Anita Taylor and one of her art pieces

There are some beautiful hand-drawn cards in the bag.

A. They’re handmade thank you cards.  I  customise them for each person.

Q. I see there’s a notebook with writing in…

A. The tiny notebook is for lists of things to do! An idea first takes shape as a drawing but I  might write reflections on what I’m trying to do, or consider the connections I’m making between ideas.

Q. Shall we talk more about Bridge House and what it used to be and what you hope it will be?

bridge house interior

A. It was built in 1929 and was originally the Wiltshire Working Men’s Conservative Benefit Society.  In the 1980s, Wiltshire Voluntary Services had offices here.

Drawing Projects interior

A.  Since acquiring the building, I have a beautiful studio space for my own work.  There will be temporary exhibitions, such as The Discerning Eye Collection, permanent exhibitions, art classes, outreach programmes, visiting artists, and a café (coming soon).

Wendy Sharpe, an Australian artist, will be exhibiting here in June and there are plans for more visiting artists.  We have a Facebook page with more information.

There will be workshops here, and there are spaces to rent for other artists and creatives.

I’m really excited about Anita’s plans for Drawing Projects UK.  ‘Like’ the Facebook Page to keep up to date with developments, and call in to see the Discerning Eye Collection.  

Nov 22 *NEWSFLASH* :  from Drawing Projects’ Facebook Page – Our next exhibition will be…. Anita Taylor: Drawings. From 3 December 2016 to 7 January 2017… and the Studio Café is now open!

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