An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Hands That Move, Helene Fischman, Draw Write Here

Memories quickly rushed back, drawn out by the arrangement of the tables. The large compressed wood rectangles with table legs, touching end-to-end, have plastic chairs tightly spaced underneath them. Adults sitting on them nearly hip to hip. 

Utensils for writing, marking, and sketching stand in cups, some lay resting on the table’s flat surface. Paper nonchalantly awaits in piles, staring blankly at the ceiling. People have gathered at Art Bar to Draw Write Here

No one really knows the purpose here, although everyone has something to say. Our guide asks that we prepare ourselves to interact with things that will call on our senses, and ideas that will stand-up to our self-awareness and that of others; that will beckon our thoughts to find their way to paper and speak through symbol, figure and motif; script, cursive and scratch penmanship. Helene Fischman just introduced this unwitting crew to Draw Write Here.

The Reanimator

Whatever intense drive tremendously grips Fischman’s conscious, it has convinced her that sparking communication between sentient beings nobaly dignifies everyone involved. Her search for the ‘how-to’ makes the ‘what-for’ take a breather. 

If asked, she graciously might explain that Draw-Write follows the Surrealist tradition of Exquisite Corps founded by Andre Breton, demonstrated wonderfully by Marcel Duchamp. Her cause contains something additional though, cradling both egalitarian and democratic hemispheres, making both coherent, capturing their deepest functional meaning: participation. 

Draw Write Here calls artists to respond to one another in pairs, often strangers, sharing a bond over a micro-experience, a scensory stimulus or setting. One in the pair writes, while the other draws or paints. The pair swaps work and responds to the other. Confined to the designated set of moments, the ‘drawer’ composes a new picture to the writers words and vis versa. Then all the pairs share what they have.

The Magician

As a conductor might wave their wand emphatically in established time signature to direct her orchestra, Fischman uses her keenly attuned faculties to transmit direction to her creative conspirators, and bridging the gulf between writers and visual artist. They must rely on each other for creative justice.

Amidst the tedium involved in literary and visual arts, Draw Write Here frees those involved from the paralysis perfection. A writer, drafts and revises. An artist, sketches and erases; paints and layers, blends and sharpens, ellipsis. Draw Write Here uses time as an absolute motivator, urgency meeting aesthetic, and a pop-up group exhibition is born. Reconvene and repeat. The most solitary of artists find themselves in an ensemble.

A Marker

Helene Fischman will celebrate eight months of  artist exchanges with her exqusite company, sharing a night of this process entitled Draw, Write, Here, See Tuesday, June 2, 7:30p at In Tandem Theatre.  A compilation of illustration and poetry works concieved in Draw Write Here produced and co-authored by Helene Fischman, entitled Draw Write Here Journal Vol. 1, commemorates this collective effort. 

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