Graveyard Exchanges

Drawing Exchange  / Graveyard Exchanges / Introduction

Graveyard Exchanges is an artists tour and book by Drawing Exchange : a collaboration by Lady Lucy and Kayle Brandon. Drawing Exchange predominantly initiates social drawing scenarios in public contexts with the aim to enable collective and personal enquiry into specific sites and questions by the implementation of experimental drawing exercises.

Graveyard Exchanges will explore specific burial grounds around the UK through a series of participatory drawing events open to the public. The Tour will result in a publication that documents the project and acts as both field guide and exercise book. The central context for the tour is an investigation into burial sites of people who played key roles or pioneered radical moments of change in the UK’s social political history. We will pay attention to both individuals and movements focussing on the marginalised as well as the notable.

Connecting to this central theme, we’re interested graveyard as public spaces: thresholds between the living and dead, private and public and the mundane and profound. Places where people go to remember and mourn, mingled with a municipal space for activities such as dog walking, oasis’s for peace and quiet, places for dubious rendezvous or overgrown locales to take a walk through.

Burial grounds have a natural affinity with reflection, observation, and contemplation all processes which link to the practice of drawing.  We are interested in how drawing can enable people to delve into questions, the process of drawing as a form of enquiry, in line with this thread we are interested in the combining of traditional drawing methods with experimental forms of exploration, such as psychogeography. We see the potential to create an art form out of the drawing exercise.

The tour aims to visit 10 – 15 localities. The book will chart, archive and compile the tour, into a reflective field guide and exercise book incorporating drawings, drawing exercises, maps, contextual writing and images. The book intends to present the reader with opportunity to simultaneously explore notions of drawing and the social histories, politics and ecologies embedded within the chosen sites.

Prior Graveyard tours have included: Bunhill fields London, a nonconformists dissenters burial ground, containing the grave of William Blake, the tour integrated drawing exercises that reflected his works. The  City of Cemetery Gates, a research residency in Manchester visiting the epic Southern Cemetery made famous by The Smiths, marginal places for marginalised youth culture. St Stephens Church Bristol a churchyard with historic links to Bristols controversial merchant past and containing the unmarked graves of two Inuits, captured by trader Martin Frobisher and brought to Bristol as living curiosities from the ‘New World’, buried as heathens 1755.