On Saturday I attended a conference “Judging for the People,” honouring 175 years of the Supreme Court in Victoria.
I am a librarian at the Supreme Court Library and keen to learn more about Melbourne and Victorian history, so it was a fascinating day for me. There are associated exhibitions at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Supreme Court Library, and a book to be launched next week that tells the stories behind the history.
I am practicing my reportage sketching at events. I decided to focus on drawing the speakers at this conference, after I had sketched my traditional “back of heads” audience scene. This is my comfort zone, so I was able to relax before taking on the more challenging sketching.
The session speakers sat at a desk while their fellow speaker took to the podium, and this provided me the ideal opportunity to sketch them . I have scanned the pages as I sketched them at the time.
I am going spend time in the next week or so thinking about how and where I add the writing on the page and to practice my lettering. I will think about who the pages are for and the information required. In this case, they are for me. However if the pages were sketched for the event organisers as a record of their event, I would need to add more information, explanation and maybe some quotes.
The sessions were
What the docquicentannnial of the Supreme Court means for Victoria. (open keynote speaker)Session One Judge-made law and judicial independence (five speakers)
Justice Victoria Bennetts’s talk on Sir Robert Molesworth , (long time judge of the Supreme Court, 1856-1886) and his extraordinary matrimonial dispute, was bought to life by an actor. At intervals through her presentation he stood up, put on a wig and quoted from the relevant party – a court reporter, Editor of the Argus newspaper, barrister for Mrs Molesworth, Chief Justice Stawell and George Higginbotham, Solicitor General. Very entertaining and an unexpected opportunity for quick sketching.
Session Two Unexpected impact of the law (four speakers)
Session Three The Fourth Estate and Justice (three panelists and a moderator) . The Fourth Estate refers to the media. We watched a video of a judge (above) handing down a judgment that was televised .
All the talks were very fascinating and different and so well presented.
I also sketched the audience. My colleagues and I noted that there was a lot of tweed in the room.
I am gradually fine tuning my style of sketching people and how and when I use my pen and my watercolour pencils. It is a skill to be able to capture the likeness of a person on the page. I am trying to put one or two features down on paper . Often it is the shape of their head or hair, their sitting position and their clothes. I am trying not to add too many features on the face – eyes, nose, mouth, as this can get messy on the page.
My recent ‘sketching at events” included Dromkeen Literary Festival
I am following the work of Veronica Lawlor , who has recently written a book “Reportage and Documentary Drawing” and also Liz Ackerley who is one of the correspondents documenting the Urban Sketching Symposium in Manchester in July (which I am attending).