For the past few months now, artist Anne (Annie McKay) has been facilitating walking drawing tours around the Sugar Sheds. The tours involve walking around the sheds inside and out, sharing the history of the buildings as well as looking into the details; the fabric of the sheds themselves. Along the way, it’s important that the participants become familiar with the environment, it’s history and significance, as well as learn and develop their drawing skills. Mark making, tone, lines, textures and shapes are all explored as they gain confidence in their drawing abilities. Annie hopes to continue with further drawing tours throughout the year up until November. Not only is Annie involved in these tours but she is also working with a number of primary schools in Greenock to create artworks for the Absent Voices project as well as finding time to concentrate on her own art work. After being brought up just down the road from the sheds, Absent Voices as a project feeds into Annie’s desire to interact with the community around such themes of their shared heritage and history.I managed to catch up with one participant from the series of walking drawing tours, Graeme Nichol. A self-motivating artist, he joins each tour with three aims; to have fun, to learn new techniques and to be inspired through the practice to observe, conceptualise and capture future ideas. The last tour Graeme joined was useful for providing new insight into the buildings. Different details where picked out in the shadows. This particular session, Graeme became interested in the shadows of the cranes and the reflection of the sheds in puddles outside. The group setting is very supportive and enjoyable, as well learning from each other reinforces the value of these events, events that are worth repeating. Graeme has passed the Sugar Sheds for years going on holiday and hadn’t really understood the industry and history of the place. Having a love for the sea and all things maritime, Absent Voices is providing Graeme with the fascinating opportunity to experience the Sugar Sheds and explore the contact between the sea and the sugar industry. Graeme was kind enough to share some of his work produced during the walking drawing tours. For one particular session, they were experimenting with working with templates to build up drawings. The drawings started during the tour are used as a reference archive. This archive Graeme has utilised as he works up some of his charcoal drawings to exhibit at the Seagull gallery in Gourock. One of the first drawings he developed has now been sold through the Rig Gallery. This is excellent news and demonstrates one of the many ways in which this project, and Absent Voices as a whole is touching and changing the local community’s lives.