Drawing as an independent language
November 1999


“Theoretical” Context of The Workshop

Six themes were introduced to and realized by participants of the workshop:

1. Drawing as emotional act
(Direct notation/ expression of various states of emotion, like anger, happiness, sadness, calm, irritation, contentment, boredom, joy, etc. ---paper, different drawing tools).

2. Drawing as sign
(Personal “mark”, “signature”, “embleme”---paper, different drawing tools).

3. Drawing as mean for interpersonal communication:
drawing conversation
(Series of non-verbal “talks” on common surfaces--- paper, drawing tools)

4. Drawing as mask
(Trial of new interpretation of African stereotype--- different materials, drawing tools)

5. Drawing as self recognition
(Self-portrait: ability of the body, identity of the soul--- paper 200x150cm, drawing tools)

6. Drawing beyond the drawing
(Aspects of drawing in other media, for example, painting, sculpture, installation- different materials)

In two weeks 25 participants- younger artists- drawn from all over Zambia (12 female and 13 male) produced a tremendous body of substantial works. It was extremely interesting to work with them and to observe radical development of their attitude towards the new understanding of drawing introduced by the workshop’s programme.

All themes listed in the programme were detailed before the realization and discussed in the whole group afterwards. I was positively surprised by the engagement of all participants in our discussion.


Workshops (Phaze 1)
Workshops (Phaze 2)

Six seminars (lectures and slide presentations on drawing and contemporary art in general) were delivered during the workshop: “Drawing as Experience”, “Drawing Installation”, “Drawing and beyond”, “Transformation of Object in 20th Century Art”, “Art and ints Social Context”, and “A Question of Identity and Cultural Standards”. All these lectures were accompanied by discussion and –after- informal conversations. Most afternoons and evenings were intended for tutorials.
A selection of works made by participants during the workshop was shown in form of the exhibition organized in the space of VAC and adjacent building (used during the workshops convenient studio space). The exhibition was open to the public for one week.

The workshop was fully documented on slides as well as on video (by VAC documentation team).

Prof. Jaroslaw Kozlowski
State of Academy of Fine Arts in Pozman
Rijkakademie van Beeldende Kunste, Amsterdam

Assisted by Germain Ngoma
National Academy of Fine Art, Oslo

The workshop was conceived as a continuation of previous Assemblage and Sculpture Basic Workshops on Lusaka (1996), Ndola (1997) and Chipata (1999), however, its aim was to introduce a new topic to young Zambian artists: drawing as an independent language of Art.

Drawing is the oldest and still the most direct, the most simple and – in many ways – the most “abstract” visual language. For many years it was taken only as the very first stage in the process of materialization of the artist’s ideas, an useful tool for painting or sculpture. Such a functional understanding of drawing was kept and respected in the whole history of art.

The transformation of drawing into an autonomous language happened not long ago, in the sixties, especially thanks to conceptual art. Drawing turned out to be a perfect medium for expressing and documenting emotions and thoughts, but above all, a very convenient way of reflecting and analyzing the phenomenon of art: its structure and grammar, its limits and possibilities. As the result of such concentration drawing obtained a consciousness of its own. Questions asked by drawing them became an essential transgression of its traditional definitions and successive discovery of the possibilities inherent in its very substance.


(Drawing as an independent language)

Zambia National Visual Arts Council in co-operation with the Royal Norwegian Government through NORAD conducted a Drawing and Painting workshop at Henry Tayali Centre, Showgrounds.

The Workshop is a National representation of Zambian based Artists drawn from all over the country and has attracted 30 participants (14 female and 16 male artists). The workshop was conducted by Professor Jaroslaw Koslowski from Poland and Germain Ngoma a Zambian artist based in Norway at Oslo Academy of Fine Arts.

“An Academy Without Walls” is a born Child Programme of Professor Michael O’Donnel from Oslo Academy of Fine Arts in Norway. This is one of the most successful Art Education Programme that has upgraded the Zambian Artists skills in contemporary arts. The Programme first started in Lusaka 1996 where VAC carefully selected artists from various Provincial VAC branches to be introduced in new phenomena and Assemblage Sculpture. This Assemblage Sculpture involved various approaches of arts involving discarded scrap metals and other products.

This Training workshop is an exchange Programme involving professors in Fine Arts from Norwegian Government’s cultural support grant to Zambia. Indeed an “Academy Without Walls” is aimed at equipping Zambian Artists with new approaches and skills to the ever- dynamic art movement. This programme has managed to equip Zambia National Visual Arts Council with modern art Materials for sculpture, drawing and painting, photography, silkscreen, etc to its art centres namely; Henry Tayali Centre Lusaka, Martin Phiri Arts Centre in Chipata and Copperbelt Visual Arts Centre at Green Village in Ndola. The programme curriculum stretches up to the year 2003.

“An Academy Without Walls” will strive to recognize the Zambian Arts through exposing them to the international standards through art exhibitions in Europe. The Visual Arts Council is already scheduled to participate in the year 2000 in Germany, the international Art Exhibition in Norway through the invitation of Hedmark Artists Centre in Hamar, Norway.

“An Academy Without Walls” programme will equip Zambian artists with modern knowledge in all sectors of Arts and certificates of recognition through a continuous workshop follow-ups.