Imagine going to a party with a bunch of your favourite creatives and each picking up a paintbrush, a pot of ink, and creating the drawing equivalent of a huge, diverse orgy on a very long piece of paper. I’m sure for some people that kind of malarkey is the norm, but for most of us, we need the help of an organising body in making experimental ideas and collaborative practice come to life. Enter Sumi Ink Club, the participatory drawing project we first wrote about three years ago which was founded in 2005 by LA-based artists Sarah Rara (I know, right) and Luke Fishbeck. For 13 years now they’ve been the source behind a string of public meeting planned by anybody, anytime, which seek to mirror open social interactions with the act of putting paintbrush to paper.
It’s a simple idea but a powerful one, engaging limitless communities of diverse age groups (the rules state that the meetings must be free and open to the public of all ages) in creating a piece of artwork which belongs to everybody involved in making it. The Club will continue to survive for as long as the people powering it want it to, and given the simple poignancy of the concept and the ongoing need for better social interaction, I have a feeling that’ll be a while yet.
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