By ExploreTheArch team

A new community drawing project this March challenges you to delve into your cutlery drawer – and draw! Inspired by Edward Lear’s poem The Nutcrackers and the Sugar-Tongs, this is a great drawing exercise whether you are an experienced artist or someone who thinks they can’t draw for toffee.

Doodle by Maya Coombs

Simply select two items of cutlery – nutcrackers and sugar-tongs or any other items from the back of the kitchen drawer – drop the cutlery onto a big piece of paper and see how it falls. What do you see? Get doodling your imaginary world and share your art for display in the growing gallery of
doodles at

This interactive project is mounted by a new #NutsAboutLear team of four ExploreTheArch artists, including two members of the company’s mentee programme: graphic designer and illustrator, Erin Brookes-Doolan, and socially-conscious creator and performer, Maya Coombs. They are working with multi-disciplinary artists Hannah Collisson and Alison Cooper exploring innovative ways to respond to Edward Lear’s writing. 

Erin Brookes-Doolan explains: “Our aim is to promote free expression of imagination inspired by Lear’s nutcrackers and sugar-tongs characters, who run away from their day jobs to seek a wild road trip. We’re inviting everyone, families, adults who love drawing and those who haven’t doodled for a long time, to take part and unleash their inner creativity!”

This joyful exploration of Lear’s words in doodles will feature in St Leonards-on-Sea’s Easter holiday festival, #ATownExploresABook21, marking the 150th anniversary of Lear’s 1871 anthology, Nonsense Songs Stories Botany and Alphabets. The festival runs 1st–18th April 2021. The #NutsAboutLear doodle project is already under way and the organisers are anticipating a big response: so get doodling!

Submit drawings to [email protected] and enjoy the growing gallery of doodles at Alternatively you can share on social media streams using the hashtag #NutsAboutLear.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.