Finding this drawing was a strange experience. I was on my way to a lecture on ‘defining the value of art in society’ or some such nonsense. Turned out to be a bit too theoretical for me. Far too much talking, not enough art making. But I digress….
I need to cut across the campus, so I take these little metal stairs I found, figuring I’d end up coming out by the library. Well, the steps go down and down and into this little courtyard – with no exit! It’s a dead end! Just a pit in the earth between buildings, filled with leaves and dried up crab apples. I have no idea why they bother to make a stairway to nowhere.
But – while I’m down here – I notice the offices don’t have shades. They probably never get any light down here. And inside is this fascinating workshop where they’re doing something interesting. I first noticed the huge Elizabethan cartwheel ruff around the neck of a dress dummy. They have racks of funny hats and long capes, and marionettes hanging from the ceiling. It’s like a little fairyland down in this air shaft. How perfect! I had to come back the next day and do a little sketch. I wish I’d drawn all the stuff in there – but it felt so strange peering in the window. Like I’d have to run away if anyone came in.