m a k i n g s p a c e was produced by gathering doodles and reinterpreting them on a larger scale. It takes the principles of my practice – creating a low pressure, inviting and welcoming environment, so that participants want to join in rather than feel they must, and expands it into large scale drawings.
The first framed piece is a collection of doodles created by family, friends and colleagues. The doodles were made with just enough ‘rules’ to get started, eliminating the intimidation of a blank page. Using the same instructions, on the same type and size of paper, their small scale provides a low-risk way to express oneself.
The neurodiverse young people I worked with during my research project would have faced a lot of demands and pressure just to get though their day. I went into their space, which was a place they go to after school hours to relax, eat, and play games. I used doodling within guidelines (paper size, pen type, outlines) as a way to encourage the group to gather together at the beginning of our projects and to work side by side.
In the same way, I have used the doodles to share my ideas with friends, family and colleagues who have in turn passed on the guidelines to others. They have generously joined me in co-creating a piece of work that leaves space for the viewer to imagine their own contribution. I have also worked within my own constraints of time and mental and physical space to respond to their squares with an amplified square of my own, redrawing and expanding their patterns and motifs into the second framed work.