19 October - 19 October Drawing Blood

Overview: Live art meets life drawing

Explore the taboos associated with blood, pain and endurance in this live art life drawing session led by Art Macabre. Medical historian Dr Sarah Chaney shares stories from history that delve into the socially sanctioned and pathological models of blood and bleeding. Following this the artist Amy Kingsmill performs a slow motion work ‘Bloom,’ in which white rose petals are pinned to her face with hypodermic needles. The live drawing class will  consider the potential beauty in sacrifice, and the full spectrum of feelings associated with extreme endurance. Followed by discussion with the artist Amy Kingsmill and Dr Sarah Chaney.

No previous drawing skills required. Paper and drawing materials will be provided, or bring your own sketchbook and supplies.

Drawing Blood has been developed in collaboration with Ian Noonan, a lecturer and the Head of the Department of Mental Health Nursing at King’s College London. Ian trained as a mental health nurse at King’s before working in acute, addiction and psychiatric liaison services in University College Hospital, Newham and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.


Booking is free via our Eventbrite page here.

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The Artist: Dr Sarah Chaney

Dr Sarah Chaney is a research fellow at Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, on the project “Living With Feeling: Emotional Health in History, Philosophy and Experience”. She also runs the exhibitions and events programme at the Royal College of Nursing. Her monograph, ‘Psyche on the Skin: A History of Self-harm’ was published by Reaktion in February 2017. It explores the very different ways self-injury has been characterised from 1860 to the present day, from sexual perversion to hysteria and attention-seeking. Her current research project considers the idea of compassion in the history of nursing and health care.

The Artist: Amy Kingsmill

Amy Kingsmill is a graduate of Central St Martins creating body based works which work with the ritualistic and the fetish. She cross fertilises queer imagery with fine art aesthetics to create arresting endurance work. Her practice separates into two streams of practice – pain based performance and strongly visual works presenting costume as an installation on the body, using minimalist endurance performance and willed objectification to create surreal jarring interventions.

As a London based artist she has performed internationally, in New York, Los Angeles, Zurich and Amsterdam and has presented at Spill Festival and at Franko B’s Untouchables and continues to work with Sheree Rose.

After her performance at Untouchables’ Tribute to Ron Athey in 2015, Athey stated ‘Welcome to the new esoteric theatre. It’s not minimalist and it’s not maximal. Meaning a costume drama without sets. The iconography – yes archetypal – is pumped to cartoon colours and graphics. But the speed, the intention, is pure luxury. Amy Kingsmill straddles cabaret/trance/spectacle and infuses the space with exuberance.’

The Artist: Art Macabre

Since 2010, born out of DIY arts festival Ladyfest Ten, Art Macabre has been pioneering how themes of death, dying and the dark arts can be explored through theatrical life drawing events.

Led by Nikki Shaill, Art Macabre has inspired thousands of people to draw blood, sketch skeletons and lots of nude flesh and bone. Art Macabre has held events in Parisian gardens, medieval crypts, London’s finest galleries and museums, old operating theatres, pathology museums, East London cemeteries and basement bars.


27 July - 13 November Blood