Drawing, writing and memory – grammigraphia with Tabatha Andrews

Ref: D1D33830

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About this course

An intensive drawing and writing course that explores unusual ways of sensing, seeing and communicating to delve into memory and the unconscious through charcoal and ink.

Course Description

Drawing and writing are intimately connected and are a primal means of communication. The rules of grammar live deep in our unconscious, even entering our dreams.

Working with plenty of charcoal, paper, ink and movement, this course aims to increase confidence, challenge preconceptions and release creativity by extending your drawing and creative writing practice. Using techniques derived from theatre, yoga, performance and psychology, you will be invited to explore your imagination and memory by observing inner and outer worlds.

The day includes a visit to the British Museum to observe Assyrian sculpture, the Rosetta Stone and other early writing systems, before returning to the studio. We’ll explore ways in which drawing and writing can combine and inform each other, including asemic and automatic work. We will also engage in visualisation exercises leading into writing about your own work. The result could be a poem, a statement, an artwork or somewhere in between.

Through a series of exercises, you will delve into your imagination and subconscious through the senses of touch, hearing, taste and smell. We will explore various ways of seeing, including synaesthesia, memory images, after-images, eidetic and dream images.

N.B. The British Museum is a five minute walk from West Dean London and is free to enter.

Inspired by artists and thinkers like Mira Schendel, Henri Michaux, Peter Blegvad, Roland Barthes and Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Proust and Henri Bergson, you will leave with a selection of drawings, at least one written piece and new and vital strategies for unlocking your creativity.

Course Materials


The College will provide some cartridge paper, bamboo skewers, a dipping pen with nib and reservoir per student, and some charcoal, masking tape, Indian ink, fixative and a roll of Fabriano paper to share amongst the group.

All necessary equipment will be provided for use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • 1 box of assorted willow charcoal (various thicknesses)
  • A bottle of Indian ink 200-250ml bottle (50ml is too small)
  • A bottle of Quink black ink
  • A roll of masking tape (medium or thick)
  • A selection of soft brushes – thin to thick
  • Various containers to hold ink – try to choose something that won’t fall over easily and spill your ink!
  • Several items of food in small quantities for drawing exercises – try to vary these in terms of smell, taste and texture, and be creative with your choices
  • Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Daily Timetable

Course teaching day 11am–5.15pm
Students arrive between 10.30am-11am (coffee optional)  
Morning teaching starts at 11am 
Lunch break between 1pm-2pm (lunch is not included)
Afternoon teaching starts at 2pm (15 minute tea break, 3.30pm–3.45pm)
Teaching finishes 5.15pm  

General Information

Short courses are open to anyone aged 18 and over. The course fee covers tuition and materials where stated. You will need to bring all other items listed under the ‘Materials to bring’ section.


Coffee and tea are included in the course fee, but you will need to bring lunch with you to eat in the refreshments room. There are also plenty of other local venues to purchase food.


If you have any specific access needs, we will need to know about your access requirements in advance. Please tell us about your needs in confidence by emailing: [email protected] This venue has steps to the front reception, with limited access via a side gate to the ground floor. There is a small lift to higher floors or stairs.


Short course students are required to sign a safety compliance form as part of West Dean Health and Safety regulations.

Refunds and cancellations

Please refer to our terms & conditions below.


The information given is accurate at the time of publication. However, West Dean College reserves the right to cancel or amend courses if circumstances require.

Terms & Conditions


Tabatha Andrews

Tabatha Andrews makes sculptures, performances and installations exploring memory and communication. She works with a range of materials including drawing, wood, felt, glass, bronze, light and sound. Her award-winning work engages with a wide variety of contexts, from hospitals to forests, cathedrals and galleries. She has collaborated with composers, choreographers, scientists and community groups. 

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.