Scratch Art Space: Sydney
Turn up and draw: founder Carmel Byrne on how artists and life models connect to generate creative energy in the Sydney suburbs
Scratch Art Space started life in the Sydney suburbs, within spartan artist studios set on an industrial estate. That was back in 2002. Founder and creative director Carmel Byrne has since expanded Scratch to incorporate an upstairs venue, street-front gallery and a fortnightly life-drawing group, Drawn Together.
The group is only a few months old, but the number of attendees has more than tripled in that time. With the right mix of music and models – and a drink or two – Carmel creates a “relaxed but focused environment.” The Australian even
December 2014 provides free materials, so anyone can turn up and draw.
“Drawing is the most direct visual medium to an artist’s thinking. That’s really stimulating. Drawing is instantaneous. When you make a drawing with the mind – giving all your attention to the model – it’s very authentic. This mutual respect between model and artists creates a synergy that transcends into creative energy.”
While a number of pro fine artists attend, Drawn Together is also proving popular with animators and illustrators. Those working digitally during the day, Carmel says, find it helpful to spend an evening sketching life models in a real, three-dimensional environment.
Scratch Art Space is always looking to expand, adding new classes in life drawing, sculpting and beyond: “We’re slowly bringing together the right people, and next year plan to add more workshops and art courses that focus on mindfulness and how drawing can provide the experience of being entirely in the moment, and the benefits of that experience in relation to other aspects of our lives, such as health and wellbeing.”