Curating the IN GALLERY (Week 6 – Amelia’s Run to Draw)

The In Gallery presents:


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Display: 5th November – 14th November

A selection of creations and illustrations by Amelia Johnstone that all form part of her ‘Run to Draw’ project. This includes drawing machine, ‘Pheidippides’, drawings made during marathon runs and plans for a new solo drawing machine.

Amelia Johnstone is an illustrator and subject leader of Illustration at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

The Run to Draw project is an embodied experience of running and drawing. Amelia’s exploration in this project looks at the possibility for physical activity and artistic creativity to influence each other in a positive way.  A running theme throughout her work is morality and how this can come through storytelling and performance. It can warm the soul in a sometimes nasty world. The project started about two years ago as a collaboration using drawing machine, ‘Pheidippides’.  An extremely innovative creation that is named after a message carrying marathon runner of Ancient Greek legend. The machine works with one person running with the machine on their back and the other drawing on a revolving scroll held on the machine.The inspiration came from old photographs of puppeteers in Krakow, who used to carry portable stage-sets on their backs.  Amelia’s experimentation hasn’t stopped there,  her work is constantly evolving which is extremely exciting.

A few years ago, Amelia set up the puppet company, P*A*St ( or ‘Post-Apocalyptic Storytelling’) which is based on the idea of staying in the present but looking to the future and understanding the past. This is particularly reflected in the idea for her new drawing machine:

“I have recently realised that my new collaborator will be the world. I want to run and draw the route of the three kings and arrive in Bethlehem as a solo runner, with a new device which I can hold in my hand. I am working with a product designer on this, where I will be wearing the theatre on my back to project what I am seeing in the front. I am in the present, here is the future and here is the past. To tell stories, to be an illustrator in the world and to become in a sense, an ultimate itinerant illustrator. It’s about being in the moment, being in that place where you know you can make work and if you don’t make it then you won’t get the chance to.”

THE IN GALLERY features weekly exhibitions of work by staff, students and guests of CSAD/Cardiff Metropolitan University.  The items in this cabinet have been arranged by Amelia Johnstone and this exhibition has been curated by Emma Harry.


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