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Oodles of Doodles


...encouraged to doodle on paper table cloths...while they drank coffee...

Members of the public were encouraged to doodle on paper table cloths at Quay Arts in Newport during a workshop run by Future Creative artists in December 2011.

Staff at the centre allowed visitors to draw while they drank coffee or ate their lunch. Hardly anyone could resist the temptation and some of the results were stunning. Dozens of tablecloths were decorated with doodles.

The resulting doodles can be seen in the Gallery on this page.

The drawings which inspired this fun activity appear in the margins of the Treasurer's copy of the minutes for Newport Borough on the Isle of Wight and are one of our Heritage100 items.




  • Rob Turner of Future Creative commented "It was surprising to see how freely people just started drawing and writing. Maybe doodling is outside of being judged as art, and people are more comfortable in this area. It was interesting to see if an existing doodle became integrated into parts of a doodle done by the second visitor to the table. I did not see many examples of this, and people kind of respected the previous drawings".
  • Sometimes the original Newport Minutes doodles reflect the topic under discussion in a Council Meeting such as car allowances or a mobile crane. Other drawings are believed to be of fellow officers, councillors and aldermen.
  • Newport's senior finance officer, first as Borough Accountant and then as Borough Treasuer was Ron Machin. He held the post from 1937 and is believed to be the artist.


Flickr Slideshow

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