I was really excited to attend this year’s Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester with some 500 other eager sketchers from all over the world. Having visited the city earlier while on the move, I was looking forward to experiencing the city observantly through urban sketching and in the company of my sketching colleagues.
The process of sketching is a very engaging way of being present – it is a distillation of the entire experience of a space with all it entails; physical volumes, light, colours, materiality and inhabitation, but also the sketcher’s personality, how comfortably the sketcher is sitting, the temperature, what the sketcher had for lunch and who the sketcher is with.
In the spirit of the Urban Sketchers’ mission to show the world, one drawing at a time, the process of sketching is a process of evaluating and understanding a space with its characteristics and aesthetics and sharing its values. We sketch what we see and understand. Thus every space sketched is turned into a place worth remembering and worth sharing.
The sketch is a very comprehensive and subjective record of a moment, and is much more comprehensive in its communication possibilities than a photograph.
I will never forget any of the experience subjects of my sketches, and I hope seeing sketchers dotted around Manchester and their interpretations of the city will inspire an alternative view of familiar places.
© Nouha Hansen
9 August 2016