Lockdown Life Drawing

Lockdown Life Drawing with Circus de Cuba

Shane Johnstone set up MAC ‘Lockdown Life Drawing with Circus de Cuba’ as a series of fundraising events to help support our friends at Big Kid Circus while they were locked-down in Morecambe.

Shane says  ….

“In February 2020 when, due to corona virus; Big Kid Circus & Circus de Cuba became locked-down in here in Morecambe. I was presented with the opportunity to realise a long-held ambition; to be an artist in a circus. My intention was to appoint myself official artist in residence, to plant my flag, claim them all to myself and make romantic art under the big top. Just like Lautrec, Degas, and Leger, artists also in love with the circus from a century or so previous. But the warmth of the welcome and the knowledge of their plight, meant I would have to share my new circus family and call upon my local artist friends and wider community to help. Morecambe Artist Colony, Lockdown Life Drawing with Circus de Cuba was born from the Love, admiration and mutual respect of two creative worlds that collided by the seaside in Lancashire, England, in 2020.”

Working as member of MAC he set up 3 sessions in the Big Top, . It would’ve been more but on 3 occasions we had to cancel in order to drop the Big Top due to high winds. Also an exhibition and finally some fly posted large scale poster murals on house walls.


Over 30 different local artists became involved with up to 19 people at a session – some working with pencils and sketch pads, others with easels and paints. At each session the Circus offered 3 performances which included Ariel Rings, Ariel Straps, Ariel Silk, Clowns, Ring Mistress, Roller Skating and Music & Dance

Artists said

“Love to be part of another MAC life drawing event. Thank you”
“Forgotten how much I like drawing with a plain old biro”
“It was a joy Shane…I would love to do some more again”…


There was then a Call Out for an exhibition

The Circus needs be to be open to the public ASAP. Dependant upon meeting pandemic safety standards, it is hoped that public performances may start around the weekend of 17th -19th July.
 We are exploring ways to include an exhibition of artwork produced during and in response to our Lockdown Life Drawing sessions. Therefore please note the submission criteria.
  Maximum size A1 594mm x 841mm.
 Maximum 3 artwork submissions per artist.
 All artwork must be framed.
 Please have hanging rings attached to rear of frame.


And the exhibition…

Lockdown Life Drawing Exhibition
 – Opens Wednesday 22 July – Closes Sunday 26th July

At the end of the exhibition we had raised £692 which will go to the Circus to help support them as they travel on. The rest of the pictures will now be auctioned.

Well Done Everyone, Isn’t Art FAB! says Shane!