The Big Draw Festival: Make The Change!

Drawing and logo of woman

The Big Draw Festival: MakeTheChange! is a timely development on last year’s exploration into the relationship between people and our living environments. In 2021, we are partnering with The Big Draw team to take action, to explore and to discover ways to live in balance with the world around us.

Workshops will kick off the day, reworking The Courtauld Collection to focus on protest art, sustainable art practices and ideal and imaginary worlds. The second half of the day will allow rare up-close and personal object study sessions. In these sessions Courtauld experts will look to artists in our collection – artists who reused paper, produced double-sided drawings and cut out, replaced areas and drew over previous works.

Join artists, creators, makers and experts – Helen Cann, Michelle Reader, Amber Butler, Leyla Bumbra and The Courtauld prints and drawings team – for this half day online festival. We invite you and your family to explore and get creative with materials you can find in your home, garden and local area to reconnect with each other and demand a better world for future generations. The Courtauld invites you to be part of The World’s Biggest community of drawing enthusiasts.

The first two workshops are suitable for anyone over 7 years old who is interested in reusing and recycling, making and drawing!  The third workshop is aimed at those 12 years and older. The object study part of the event is designed for older art enthusiasts, granting an opportunity to pose your questions to our experts of works on paper. Please note that all children should be supervised by an adult at all times while taking part.

This event has passed.

2 Oct 2021

11am - 2pm (BST)

Free, but booking essential





Open Courtauld

Festival Schedule!

11.00 - 11.05: Welcome!

A welcome from your host Leyla Bumbra!

11.05 - 11.50: Be The Change, Use Your Voice<3

Join Amber Butler for this interactive workshop making positive protest posters.

Materials needed: 

  • A3-A2 Paper
  • 2 Colours (Black + Bright Colour)
  • Acrylic Markers / Chunky Markers ( Amber use Molotow Various sizes 4-8mm,15mm,60mm)

Optional – For Adult Assistance 

Prompt List

  • BLM
  • Spread Love
  • Be Kind
  • Equality
  • Choose Love Always
  • Together we are stronger
  • Love has no limit
  • There is Beauty in Difference
  • We are one
  • Unity
  • Spread Kindness
  • Refugees Welcome
  • Freedom for all!


11.50 - 12.30: Miniature Worlds!

Join Michelle Reader in using found materials to create a wild miniature world of meadows, forests and wildlife, inspired by Gainsborough’s wooded landscape. 

Materials required:

Gather some objects from your house and garden that might be incorporated into a miniature world.  This might include:

  • A cake board, wooden board or piece of cardboard to use as a base
  • Cereal box or other thin card packaging
  • Clothes pegs/paperclips
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Sticks and leaves and other natural materials
  • String
  • Bits and bobs, e.g. plastic cutlery, coffee stirrers, drinking straws, bottle lids, corks, buttons…
  • Scrap paper such as newspaper, wrapping paper, envelopes, leaflets
  • Crisp packets, sweet wrappers, plastic bags…
  • Miniature models of animals or small toys such as lego figures, dolls (to populate your world!)

You’ll also need scissors and some things to help you join things together, such as tape, glue or a stapler, and some thin garden wire if you have any. You will need something to draw with such as felt tip pens.  If you have wire you’ll also need pliers or wire cutters to cut it with.  It would also be useful to have something with a pointy end to make holes with – maybe something from the kitchen such as a cocktail stick or a hole punch (make sure you have an adult is helping you).  If you have any clay or other modelling material then that can also be useful to build up the landscape and plant things in.

12.30 - 1.15: Mapping an Ideal World!

Join Helen Cann in ‘Mapping an Ideal World’. Participants will imagine their personal ideal world and use a variety of mark making skills to draw a map of their world filled with land, water and plant features.

Materials required: a couple of sheets of A4 paper, pens and/or pencils, imagination!

1.15 - 2.00: Object Study!

This object study part of the event is designed for older art enthusiasts, granting an opportunity to pose your questions to our experts of works on paper.

Meet the artists, creators and experts

Amber Butler 

Amber Butler is an Illustrator, Artist, Activist and recent graduate working in Luton. She has featured on both the AOI and D&AD’s as a ‘Graduate to Watch in 2020’. She would describe her work as punk, punchy and expressive. She mostly uses Ink, spray paint, acrylic and pastel. She starts off physically, working mostly on newsprint and scrap paper then brings everything together digitally to complete. Amber also likes working directly onto large pieces of fabric. Amber enjoys using art for good, she feels more inspired when there is a strong message behind the work and something she can emotionally connect with. It’s necessary for her to raise awareness of things that are important. She has a lot to say but she also likes to share the stories of others through her work, as well as her own feelings. Amber is compassionate, resilient and driven by injustice, she will always stand for what is right.  @amberbutler_

Leyla Bumbra

Leyla holds special responsibility for The Courtauld’s extensive Research Forum programme and public engagement activity, including the Open Courtauld Strand and the Decolonising Reading Group Scheme. She completed her MA(Hons) at The University of Glasgow in History of Art and Theatre Studies in 2015. After two years working in Paris and then Australia, Leyla returned to the UK to complete an MA in Gender, Society and Representation at UCL. Leyla then joined The Courtauld in 2019 as the Open Courtauld Producer and has now taken on the role of Research Forum Programme Manager. @leylabumbra

Helen Cann 

Helen Cann is an illustrator specialising in hand drawn maps and is the author of ‘Hand Drawn Maps; A Guide for Creatives’. (Thames & Hudson). Her maps have appeared in film, TV shows and books. They’ve helped wanderers, armchair explorers, festival goers and nature lovers, folded small into brochures or shouting loudly on signage!  @helencannmaps

Ketty Gottardo 

Ketty studied History of Art at the University of Udine, Italy (Laurea, 1998), and later at The Courtauld (MA 2004, PhD 2012) where her research focused on Baroque prints and drawings.Before joining The Courtauld as Martin Halusa Curator of Drawings (2016), Ketty held positions at the Louvre Museum, Paris, where she worked as a cataloguer of Italian drawings, was assistant curator in the department of paintings and drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Head of the old master drawings department at Christie’s in Paris, and associate curator of drawings at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. @kettygottardo

Michelle Reader 

Michelle Reader is a sculptor based in Nottinghamshire. She makes characterful and colourful sculptures from waste materials and found objects, often of people or animals. 

Rachel Sloan

Rachel was educated in the United States and England, earning a BA in English literature and history of art from Washington University in St Louis and an MA and PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art, on Symbolism and artistic exchange between France and Britain in the late nineteenth century. She subsequently served as graduate intern in the Drawings Department of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2009-2010) and as curatorial research fellow at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (2010-2011). Rachel joined The Courtauld as Assistant Curator of Works on Paper in 2012. Exhibitions she has curated include A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany (2014), Bruegel to Freud: Prints from the Courtauld Collection (2014), and Impressions of Modern Life: Prints from The Courtauld Gallery (2020, Royal Holloway, University of London).