Sometimes it’s good to do something completely different, out of the studio, and away from briefs and projects. And if it involves a tall hairy man with giant feet and a penchant for bananas, so much the better. This summer the Hayward Gallery is running a Wide Open School – the gallery’s take on adult education, where artists lead creative sessions on a weird and wonderful range of topics. But probably none is more weird or indeed wonderful than the Wild Man Life Drawing workshop which took place today, led by illustrator and printmaker Stephen Fowler.
With an incredibly eclectic soundtrack of birdsong, folksong and 50s B-movie soundtracks, we set to work with charcoal and pencils capturing first silhouettes then the whole figure of our grunting, hirsute wild man – who was soon joined by a silken haired bigfoot, striking poses with sticks, skulls…and bananas. The piece de resistance was the wild boy, who had been looking forward to his role for weeks and revelled in a variety of poses, accompanied by suitably wild squeaks and groans.
Sheets of drawings soon lined the walls as one quick pose followed another. I really enjoyed being immersed in this most unusual of drawing environments, and ended up with sheets of potential characters. You can read more about wild man drawing on Stephen’s blog here.