Collective Swabs


A large scale, dynamic group drawing and painting ‘dance’, fueled by a short amount of time and a critical mass of willing participants. Via continual prompts and movement, a collective, drawn web emerges, provoking the imagination and opening up exciting, unthinkable painting possibilities.


Over the last 20 years Anthony Pelchen has worked with people from all demographics, orchestrating what he calls Collective Swabs. Dynamic, large scale group drawings which emerge from a short amount of time and a critical mass of willing participants. For those who think they cannot draw/paint, it provides a process that prompts the individual mark and an acceptance of adjustment by others, opening up exciting, unimaginative possibilities. For those who know they can draw, it grows their existing practice by suggesting new ways of working and looking.

These accessible, uplifting processes have marvelously played out in workshop and other contexts with Butoh & Body-Weather performers, children and adults of All-Abilities, Corporate Executives/Employee teams, Multi-cultural groups, the Elderly in Aged Care facilities and the general public in shopping and market spaces.

The Team:

  • Anthony Pelchen
  • Karin Matsuda

Additional Features:

  • -Adaptable to any demographic and skill level
  • -covid19 physical distancing restrictions can be incorporated playfully and powerfully
  • -Size can be anything from A1 to 1.2 x 2.4m
  • -can be applied to a wall, with Mural outcome
  • -resulting painting goes to participants, whole or divided
  • -high quality digital images of process and resulting work goes to participants
  • -digital image great for promotions -post cards, on line etc
  • -direct onto canvas allows affordable mounting of final work

Technical Specifications:

  • Work surface support flexible - table, ground or wall Provide: table 1.2x2.4m 200 gsm paper or canvas drawings charcoal, etc
  • painting equipment
  • drop sheets
  • aprons/workshirts
  • protective gloves