Resonant frequencies – drawing, sound and the listening body with Tabatha Andrews

Ref: SWE32559

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About this course

Explore drawing through an investigation of sound, using voice, vibration, dissonance, pitch, resonance and rhythm, as a means of generating imagery. Using loose pigments to draw with, you will work with live and recorded sound sources, as well as exploring how sound travels through different materials.

Course Description

Our bodies are interpenetrated with vibration; we listen with the whole body, not just the ears. Resonance is a state of being in tune with our environment and with each other, in which energy becomes amplified and we can be more creative.

This course will move from active listening and visualisation exercises into intensive drawing sessions investigating mark-making, memory, form and formlessness. Your tutor will bring an archive of sounds for you to listen to and you will generate your own by working with percussion, microphones, speakers and other sculptural elements. You will investigate vibration as a means of physically generating drawings on various surfaces and explore the acoustics of different materials and spaces at West Dean. What is noise? What does it mean to ‘record’ a sound? How can sound create illusion and generate images in the mind?

You will explore artists, musicians, thinkers and scientists working with sound, including Ernst Chladni, Hans Jenny (Cymatics), Marianne Amacher, Alvin Lucier, Kurt Schwitters, Ryoji Ikeda, Alice Coltrane, Evelyn Glennie, Daphne Oram and others.

You will build up a body of drawings and sound experiments over the course, developing new ways of perceiving the world by listening through drawing.


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 charcoal, cartridge paper, newsprint, masking tape, graphite stick and graphite pencil - 6B and 4B per student, plus a large roll of Fabriano paper to share amongst the group.
  • Found objects, basic sound recording and playback equipment will be provided for use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • Some polystyrene packaging
  • A percussion instrument or a material or object that makes an interesting sound
  • Optional: Feel free to bring your phone to record sounds on if you wish. A USB stick could be useful should you wish to store sound recordings made.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of drawing materials, including soft pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal, graphite powder, cartridge paper, Fabriano paper rolls 200gsm, masking tape, etc.

Additional information

This course involves listening to a variety of sounds of different pitches and volumes, short periods of close interaction with fellow students and working in low light with blindfolds. A degree of physical fitness and flexibility is required. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Possible equipment restrictions in tutor absence.


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.