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Bury St Edmunds' drawing event saw about 500 people create their own illustrations inspired by the Abbey of St Edmund



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Hundreds of people picked up pencils and pens and told the stories of the Abbey of St Edmund through drawing.

The Walk, Draw, Explore event on Saturday, July 2, in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds was part of the line-up of celebrations to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the abbey.

Organised by artist Jac Campbell and West Suffolk Council employee Tom Ogden, who is also a town guide, anyone could drop by and enjoy a free day of drawing inspired by the abbey ruins, with art materials provided.

Walk, Draw, Explore organisers Tom Ogden and Jac Campbell
Walk, Draw, Explore organisers Tom Ogden and Jac Campbell
One of the pieces produced at the Walk, Draw, Explore event
One of the pieces produced at the Walk, Draw, Explore event
The map with information about the Abbey of St Edmund
The map with information about the Abbey of St Edmund

Illustrators Joel Millerchip, who is based in Stowmarket, and Lance Alexander, who is also heritage operations manager at West Suffolk Council, were on hand to share tips.

Mrs Campbell she was 'really pleased' with how the event had gone, adding about 500 people had taken part. This included professional artists, members of the Bury Sketchers group, some people who just happened to be in the park and others who came particularly for the event.

Stowmarket-based Joel Millerchip
Stowmarket-based Joel Millerchip
Illustrator Joel Millerchip who was on hand at the event
Illustrator Joel Millerchip who was on hand at the event
Illustrator Lance Alexander
Illustrator Lance Alexander

"We were confident people would come and join in," said Mrs Campbell. "It was nice. It felt like a bit of a party. It was like an art club in the park."

She added: "The idea was to explore the stories of the abbey through drawing. We gave people maps and snippets of the abbey's stories. They looked at that and came back to do their own illustration. Some people just drew the abbey, which is lovely as well."

She said she believed people did connect with the stories of the abbey through the event, which was part-funded by West Suffolk Council-run Moyse's Hall Museum.

"A lot of people were tourists as well who came and they wanted to know about the story of St Edmund and things like that," said Mrs Campbell, who also worked with Mr Ogden on the Art Around Town pizza boxes project.

Participants at Walk, Draw, Explore were given a step-by-step guide to complete their own illustrated postcard inspired by the abbey's history.

People could illustrate their own postcard based on the abbey's stories
People could illustrate their own postcard based on the abbey's stories

Mrs Campbell said these packs - which include the map, guide and postcard to work on - would be available from the Tourist Information Point at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the shop in the Abbey Gardens and probably Moyse's Hall Museum.

For more information follow Art Around Town on Instagram.

  • Walk, Draw, Explore will be back in the Abbey Gardens on Saturday, July 16, at the picnic in the park event to celebrate the abbey's 1,000th anniversary.