Grammigraphia: drawing, writing and memory with Tabatha Andrews

Ref: SWE31652

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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, 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.

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

Explore ways that drawing and writing can combine and inform each other, including asemic and automatic work. You will also engage in a series of visualisation exercises leading into writing about your own work. The result could be a poem, a statement, an artwork, or somewhere in between.

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 suite of drawings from small to large, a series of written pieces and new and vital strategies for unlocking your creativity.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The college will provide some Fabriano Academia paper on the roll 220g, A1 cartridge paper 220gsm, dipping pen, ink, charcoal and willow charcoal powder to get you started.

What students need to bring

  • Various thicknesses of charcoal from thin to thick.
  • 4 sticks of scenic charcoal (thick)
  • 1 box assorted willow charcoal (various thicknesses)
  • A bottle of Indian ink 200-250 ml bottle (50 ml is too small)
  • A bottle of Quink black ink
  • Roll masking tape (medium or thick)
  • Selection soft brushes thin to thick
  • Stiff hold hairspray or fixative spray to fix drawings
  • 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including paper, charcoal, Indian ink, black Quink ink, masking tape, selection of soft brushes thin to thick and fixative.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Dress for mess! Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. No hairspray/fixative to be sprayed in enclosed spaces.


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. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

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.

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