In this blog Bibo Weber-Keeley, an Aberdeen artist and HND student of Art and Design at North East Scotland College, tells us about her drawing experience at the Zoology Museum on 17 September 2014.
Three weeks into starting the Art and Design HND course at NESCOL, a class outing brought me to the Zoology Museum for some investigative drawing. After having a good look around the impressive exhibition of fascinating specimens, I chose to make a study of the ‘Australian lungfish pelvic girdle’ which was displayed in one of the glass cabinets. I liked the symmetry and feather-like structure of the skeleton.
Later, in the Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre education room where visitors have the chance to handle all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures – like dried beetles and tarantulas, taxidermied shrews or skeleton-parts of sea mammals – it was a stuffed black bird which caught my attention. It was ‘sitting’ on the shelf, looking quite alive. I took it over to the table, where I started a second study which I drew directly on top of my initial pencil drawing. This time I used black pen.
I enjoyed this process very much. The skeletal structure and the overlaying face and feathers of the bird seemed to gradually merge into one new creature.
My own artwork is often influenced by organic forms and textures and the museum with its calm meditative atmosphere is certainly an inspiring place for me. There’s no shortage of potential source material and I can foresee myself coming back for further visual research and drawing experiences in the near future.