North End Sketch Club

Since its launch in Stanley Park in April 2018, the club has run sessions in Bootle Library with Our Human Library project, The Rotunda in Kirkdale, Everton Park, Habitable Spaces in Texas, as part of a three-month artist residency, Rice Lane Farm, Homebaked, Anfield and was commissioned via Human Library to do online sessions throughout the first lockdown in 2020. The Club has most recently been successfully funded via Arts Council England to run sessions in collaboration with Fans Supporting Foodbanks at their mobile pantry from Summer 2021.

Finding beauty or qualities that may have been missed or overlooked is a thread running throughout my practice and has drawn me towards art that looks outside of the traditional gallery environment and to projects developed within local communities.

The area we grew up in, Everton in North Liverpool had a lot of things, ‘done to it.’ Rather than listen to or consult the local community, it was decided for us by local and national government that 1800 homes would be demolished, streets and streets of thousands of homes, and lives, friends, memories dispersed and gone forever. This awoke something that’s fed into my practice ever since, a sense of injustice and waste but ultimately that a community is stronger together than apart and that all members of a community have many skills to offer and unite us.

Art in the widest sense, has proved a huge vehicle for change and positive action in community led activism and I strive to demonstrate under the banners of both, North End Sketch Club and Dead Pigeon Gallery since 2017.

The beauty of the project is that it’s portable. It can go anywhere and work with anyone. There are no requirements needed, all materials are basic and provided, including portable stools! It suits people who’ve never sketched in their lives to established artists as there’s no judgment. The idea came after a period of intense grief after losing my Mum. I began sketching and realised that 10/20 minutes could pass by without realising, a tonic. It was the meditative quality I realised was the aspect worth sharing with others. Being a ‘club’ rather than a course leads to a laid back approach that anyone can drop into at any stage as there is no ‘teaching structure’, the sessions respond to the environment and the group itself.

Georgina Aasgaard performing at North End Sketch Club, Tiber Square, Lodge Lane

North End Sketch Club with Fans Supporting Foodbanks

 Kingsbury, Texas, USA

North End Sketch Club – Lockdown Online Edition 2020

From March to June 2020 I offered up my Instagram page to sketchers to send me work they’d been doing during lockdown to keep that line of communication open and exhibit the work within my online platform. When I started it I didn’t envisage it lasting so long but it developed beautifully into being commissioned by the Human Libraries project based at Bootle Library, Sefton into an online version of sketch club. It consisted of 3 videos I made myself using a tripod and mobile phone at home, a very DIY approach that carried over into the themes for each session: Ep 1, At Home, Still Life, Ep 2, Press Pause on the Telly Sketch and Ep 3, What’s Outside Yours? I love the fact that this opened up the club to a wider audience, getting entries from all over Liverpool, UK, USA and even one from The Bahamas! 

North End Sketch Club – Lockdown Edition Online, Ep 1. ‘At Home, Still Life’, 2020. 

North End Sketch Club – Lockdown Edition Episode 2 – ‘Press Pause on the Telly Sketch’, 2020. 

North End Sketch Club – Lockdown Edition Episode 3 – ‘What’s Outside Yours?’, 2020.

Lockdown Sketch Club Feedback

With Jayne extending the north end sketching group to online has helped me not feel so isolated, as I’ve been shielding. The humour in the posts shine through and makes me want to join in therefore it’s a little bit of “normality, “ plus I’ve enjoyed breaking out the old sketchbook and crayons also by keeping in touch through the weeks of lockdown means when sketch group starts up again, we’ll be able to share our experiences through the sketching we’ve produced. Christine Smith

Sketch club has been great for me during lock down, as I had to self isolate for twelve weeks, I’ve been sketching and posting them on to Jayne, who has been a inspiration to through all of this dreadful experience during lock down. sketch club is a fantastic way to keep me going through all this trauma. Thanks Jayne keep up your fantastic work. Teresa Carden

The approach that Jayne has taken with Sketch Club has been an inspiration to finally get something local to us started, using the materials and equipment we have to hand, instead of making things more complicated than they have to be! Hazlehurst Studios

Having an approachable friendly person on the other side of a screen (with a great sense of humour) knocks down those barriers and makes art more accessible for all. Runcorn WI (Women’s Institute)

I’ve loved the watching Jayne’s playful videos, being inspired to have a go myself and then the work being shared on Instagram. Multiple joy! Josie Jenkins

I’m one of many who have always said ‘I can’t draw’. If I’m being honest it’s just a defense for never really tried! Jayne’s informal, friendly approach has motivated me to at least have a go. She’s the best type of teacher, and I hope sketch club can keep going, whether online or ‘in the flesh’. Marie Gray 

My feedback on Lockdown Sketch Club: During a period of unexpected and unprecedented loss of freedom, and increased anxiety for ourselves and the world, it has been a welcome distraction to see Jayne’s quirky videos and demonstrations, and to respond to the regular art challenges she has given. We’ve been urged to leave our comfort zones and try new subjects. Seeing the wide variety of responses has been great fun. Everyday objects become subjects of great interest when you look at them as something you might draw or paint. I have been a participant in Jayne’s sessions when the North End Sketch Club came “On Tour” to Bootle Library in recent times and look forward to being involved in socially distanced sketch club sessions she plans to hold in Stanley Park. Jayne has a truly inclusive and engaging approach, believing that anyone can enjoy losing themselves in the activity of observing and capturing their surroundings. Sue Herihly