Creativity and Resilience in the First World War – a drawing and discussion workshop

  • Date:
Trench lamp made from bully beef tin.  Liddle Collection, University  of Leeds Library.  Image: Claudia Sternberg

Trench lamp made from bully beef tin.
Liddle Collection, University of Leeds Library.
Image: Claudia Sternberg

Location: University of Leeds, Brotherton Library (Brotherton Room, first floor, entrance through Special Collections)

Free, but numbers are limited so please book online.

Suitable for age 14+

A drawing and discussion workshop related to the First World War with Artist in Residence Juliet MacDonald.

During the First World War, soldiers and civilians sometimes found time to draw, write poetry, sing, play instruments, put on plays, tell jokes and produce satirical magazines. After the war, creative activity may have been helpful in coming to terms with wartime experiences.

In this workshop, we will be looking at sketchbooks, poems, artworks, artefacts and magazines in the Liddle Collection that show how those at the front, and those back home, coped with their wartime experiences in creative, inventive and often humorous ways.

Juliet MacDonald, who is currently working as artist in residence with the Liddle Collection, will talk through these items from the perspective of a creative practitioner. Psychotherapist Andrea White will discuss ideas associated with the items in relation to the concepts of trauma and resilience. How do people draw on their own creativity in order to deal with the stresses of an uncertain and dangerous life?

In the second part of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to work creatively themselves, either drawing from the items on display with suggestions for techniques and starting points from Juliet, or engaging in creative writing.