Following the huge success of two residencies at our previous home at Cornerhouse, Sketch-O-Matic, the almost instant picture booth with the cult following makes a triumphant return to HOME from Fri 4 – Sun 13 December!
Sketch-O-Matic is a full size portrait booth but where the machinery should be is a tiny, fully equipped artist studio with a person beavering away inside.
Over the course of a ten days and evenings, you are invited to sit inside the booth as if for a photograph and make a minimum donation of £1 per person through the slot. Wait five minutes (give or take) and an image, poem or collage but always unique form of portraiture appears in the dispensing tray, accompanied by the warm blast of a travel hairdryer. If you hanker for that still-wet vintage sensation, the artist might even lick it for you.
So what can you expect, if you haven’t participated previously? Be prepared for a good-natured queue, and remember that these are real people creating original works, not a machine! The busiest periods are lunchtimes, weekends and booze o’clock. Lots of visitors make return visits as they set about collecting as many different portraits by alternative artists as they can. The donation of £1 is a minimum suggestion – if there are two of you, increase it accordingly!
Highlights have included crowds reminiscent of that for the log flume at Alton Towers, snaking through the building and into the street outside; partial nudity; a mystery egg-dropper; two pouting girls who were horrified to be drawn as flesh-rotted zombies (accompanied by blood syrup dripping through the wall); the benefactor who paid artists with a £20 note and even a marriage proposal, which we’re pleased to say was accepted!
Operating hours are 12.00 until 22.00 daily. Please dig deep. If you’re an artist yourself, please note that calls for contributions are now closed – thanks so much for the fantastic response!