Manchester Art Gallery

Making Conversation

Making Conversation is an open access group which – before the Covid 19 restrictions – encouraged members of the public to visit the gallery, look at art, explore ideas and make something in response!

Making Conversation fosters a friendly community and we are keen to keep that going while the gallery doors are temporarily closed.

The session is put together by artists Naomi Kendrick and Helen Newman and we invite you to join in this month’s workshop. If you make something in response to the inspirations and would like to share it, please take a photograph of what you create and email it to, and we will upload to Instagram as part of #magartclub.


This month we have three artworks for you to respond to, should you wish! You may feel like responding to one or all three, its up to you.

This activity has three simple steps:

1. Spend time with the artworks

2. Think about what they mean to you

3. Make something in response ( See below for details )

Please don’t feel pressure to make anything precious, there is no right or wrong here, just enjoy the artworks and the process of playing with materials. We look forward to seeing what you have been up to!


A Drawing Special by Naomi Kendrick#



Scratched marks on the back of a toilet door, a medical diagram revealing the functions of a human heart, blueprints of a palace, designing your new garden shed, a game of Pictionary, Leonardo de Vinci’s study of a naked man. Drawing is vast, it can be so many things and appear in so many places, we have all done it as a child – and probably as an adult too – when we stop to think about it.

Can drawing help us to relax, express ourselves, connect with nature and each other? All things we need to keep us afloat in Covid times.

This month let’s celebrate drawing, below are some drawings from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection for you to enjoy, an activity, and a few more suggestions of things you could try (do as many or as few as you like, you’ll have your own ideas along the way too).

There can be one snag when it comes to drawing, sometimes people think it is something they can’t do or that they are not good at. Scrap that thought if it pops into your head. Start, play, keep going and ignore that inner critic. Everyone can draw and everyone’s drawings are unique to them.


Make a few marks at random on a piece of paper (or ask someone you live with to do this for you). Add further marks to complete the drawing. It can be abstract or of a particular thing.

Draw to relax

Follow the link to try some mindful mark making in response to your favourite music

Mark making challenge

How many different types of marks can you make using things from around your home? You could try doing rubbings, using left over BBQ charcoal, lipstick, coffee, etc. What happens if you make that mark softly or vigorously, fast or really slowly?

Dream drawing

Draw the dream you had last night.

Natural drawing

Draw something from nature, using something from nature, e.g. a drawing of a pot plant using beetroot juice or a map of your local park made from blades of grass arranged on paper.

Draw like you’re 7

Draw the animal or mythical creature you would most like to be .

By Naomi’s son Jackson, age 7