May 9, 2023

A personal matter. Artist Eva Vevere’s 6th visit to Jelgava Spīdols State Gymnasium

On 11 April, artist Eva Vēvere and mediator Evelīna Andžāne met with students of Jelgava Spīdolas State Gymnasium for the 6th time. During the visit, the artist suggested a creative warm-up by indulging in a joint dynamic drawing session or drawing jam – a comic-based exercise with a time limit that relieves the tension of drawing. It is also the artist’s response to the phrase “I don’t know how to draw!” often heard among students, proving that drawing does not require specific skills – anyone can draw, and learning how to draw well is about approaching your authentic expression through creative work. The session included time-limited drawing exercises, developed and described in a fascinating way by cartoonists such as Ivan Brunetti and Linda Barry in their books. During the exercise, the drawing and the handwriting of the pupil who made the drawing emerged cleaner and more open, passing through a temporal filter that in some places removed the excess bloat from the drawing. The pupils were amused by the works produced in a short space of time and were surprised to find themselves comparing their sometimes chaotic but also minimalist cartoons with each other. The artist Eva Vevere also allowed the pupils to draw their own self-portrait within the time limit of 2 minutes.
Focusing on the theme of identity, through which to explore new aspects of it, the students were also given a special homework assignment for the session – to think about what is the most important thing they have and identify with, taking it away with them. Pupils were asked to draw a picture of a personal item they had brought with them – some people had headphones, some had a vinyl record by Queen, some had rings, but some had brought their favourite plush toy and spent time on it. When the drawing was finished, the item had to be described. In the descriptions of the objects, it was noticeable that they had symbolic, practical and emotional meaning. They revealed the students’ close connection to gifts, ornaments with Latvian symbolism (including several Nameji, sakta), neck ornaments, a needle used to make more than 16 piercings, Tarot and playing cards, attributes of various hobbies and professional interests such as swimming goggles, ballet slippers, an art school certificate, etc. During the task, atmospheric music played in the background, allowing the students to fully enjoy their time with art and objects that belong only to them.