How The Drawing Year has Adapted During the Pandemic

March 29, 2021

Students studying on The Drawing Year 2020 were in their second term of studio-based tuition when the pandemic hit and whilst the programme had to adapt, so did the students...

Teaching quickly moved online with adjustments made for distanced learning with live tuition, regular tutorials, and and an online lecture series.  The cohort were able to come together for the weekly Core Programme, maintaining a sense of community. Those who lived close by to SPACE studios (our 24 hour access personal studio spaces) were able to continue using them throughout out the year with Covid-safe procedures in place and the School added an extra term to the programme to ensure that all students could get the most from the course as possible. Read on to hear from students about their experience...


Tezz Kamoen

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Our year group coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic and the School has been so generous dealing with the whole situation. They postponed our deadlines in order for us to get a physical show. We got an extra term as well as having our free studio for almost four months longer than planned. There have been check-ups about how we are doing and there has always been room to have a personal chat if needed. We have kept our community going via all sorts of internet things - WhatsApp, Instagram, and of course everyone’s favourite; Zoom! Luckily, we are still able to use the studio (if you didn’t have to travel too far) so there has been a bit of real life community too.

Nathalie Hollis

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The school were unbelievably supportive from the start of the pandemic, we were all individually checked in on and offered support and advice we might need. They went above and beyond my expectations offering online courses very quickly and managed to seamlessly make this feel as close to our previous classes in school as possible. 

Patrick Macdonald

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In under a month or so all classes were online along with tutorials, simple check-ins and group meetings to see how we were all coping, keeping our morale up during absolute uncertainty. There also was, and still is, a Drawing Year WhatsApp group that made us all feel involved and connected – a place that we can share invitations to shows and exhibitions.  Over lockdown the Creative Conversations lectures series continued online and there was one in particular when I was literally on the edge of my seat throughout - this was with Enrique Martinez Celaya, a poet, scientist and painter.  I found his work truly emotional and strong.  It was amazing to continue to get these lectures online throughout lockdown.

Marina Renee-Cemmick

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The school were unbelievably supportive from the start of the pandemic, we were all individually checked in on and offered support and advice we might need. During lockdown, our year communicated and shared work through our Instagram page, but the fragmentation has been challenging. It’s a relief to arrive at the studio, which have remained open throughout the year, to welcoming faces and the smell of paint. A haven among the chaos. 

The School is committed to providing graduating students with an in-person exhibition planned for Summer 2021. Keep an eye out for an announcement... 

Follow @rdsdrawingyear2020 and @rdsdrawingyear21 on Instagram to see the work that students from both year groups have made over the course of the pandemic.