"On The Rocks" festival

The first thing you notice as you walk through the familiar doors of the Barron Theatre is the French folk music playing in the background, transforming the small and intimate theatre into a street scene from a foreign language film. A just small enough group of 14 amateur artists and keen beginners are gathered around the room; the focus on the lovely Valeria Duca in the centre as her hands fluidly connect lines and create spaces on the page entrancing onlookers – as suddenly Vladimir Putin’s sleepy eyes stare out at the crowd.

The HA@STA Magazine Caricature Workshop hosted as part of the On The Rocks Festival on Tuesday the 7th of April saw the likes of Kate Middleton’s cute button nose and Matt Gibson’s perfectly symmetrical face make appearances in various forms across several blank pages.

Duca’s professionalism is to be commended, as she eloquently shared her knowledge and talent with the rest of us: everyone left knowing what the plectrum was (the more you know!), and feeling more confident in their abilities tackle an intimidating blank page.

The three hours spent in the workshop however, were far from intimidating; the artists were free to draw with reckless abandon as a combination of music and laughter filled the Barron and put everyone at ease. Duca easily commandeered the workshop while still making it interactive and informal, taking volunteers from the group as well as asking and answering questions.

On behalf of HA@STA, Duca will be caricaturing on request until the end of May – simply send her an email with what you would like done. Although it is free, donations are very much encouraged. The HA@STA Magazine Launch party will undoubtedly create the same chilled ambiance of the workshop, and is an easy way to find out more about requesting your own caricature, just in case you missed the workshops during the On The Rocks Festival.

Words: Milan Cater