rubbing out project

about rubbing out

Rubbing Out is a participatory drawing project that creates space to connect with species facing a threatened existence. It is an invitation to celebrate and engage with the incredible animals with whom we co-inhabit the natural world.

Rubbing Out is an interactive environment where you encounter hand-drawn images of endangered animals. We invite you to spend time in the space and engage in reflection, dialogue, drawing and ‘rubbing out’ as processes of connection to each other and our natural world. Through this, we create a place to hold feelings associated with the phenomenon of species loss and collectively come closer to a sense of what animals mean to us and our planet.

“I am rubbing out the gils, because if it can’t breathe, it can’t live. Imagine how it would be to lose your ability to breathe because of pollution.”

Rubbing Out participant, Brixton, London

We encounter well-known and lesser-known species through drawings. You are invited to rub out parts of these drawings and contribute to a growing archive of affected images and reflections of personal encounter and resonance. How does it feel to transform the image? What stories emerge? How does this relate to a wider context?

At Rubbing Out we celebrate the micro and marginalised; animals as marginalised beings and emotions that are often marginalised forces within us. We welcome diversity of voices including voices of children who can see the world with wonder and for whom there is most at stake.

This is a transdisciplinary work that draws on theory and practice from Process Work, eco-design, participatory art and ethnography. The installation consists of low-impact cardboard scenography, designed to encourage audiences to spend time with materials and connect with the artists and other visitors. The space houses an evolving gallery of altered artworks, a soundscape and film recordings made with visitors and ecologists as well as hosting presentations from experts to help us understand concepts of disappearance, reappearance and processes of species reintroduction, conservation, and rewilding.

the rubbing out project. Copyright Andrea Carr & Gemma Riggs 2023