UHArts brings Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition to St Albans Museum + Gallery

University of Hertfordshire Arts is delighted to introduce Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition Hand Drawn Action Packed, an exhibition bringing together ten international artists whose practice springs from drawing. This new exhibition launches at the new St Albans Museum + Gallery, before touring to Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Swansea.

Opening at the St Albans Museum + Gallery on 2nd September 2018, Hand Drawn Action Packed features work by artists Marcel Dzama, Marcel van Eeden, Inci Eviner, Yun-Fei Ji, William Kentridge, Nalini Malani, Otobong Nkanga, Raymond Pettibon, Amy Sillman and Rinus Van de Velde. The exhibition explores narrative in drawing and its many forms; from stories unfolding through a sequence of single images, combined with words and animation. The artists in Hand Drawn Action Packed make imaginative use of their tools – from pen and ink to a smartphone and a stick of charcoal.

Following the transformation of St Albans’ Town Hall, the newly opened Museum + Gallery provides a poignant setting for the drawing exhibition. Set over three floors, the building boasts a number of restored historic spaces such as the pre-Victorian Assembly Room, Courtroom and Cells alongside newly created galleries that host regularly changing exhibitions and events. University of Hertfordshire Arts, enjoying a longstanding and successful partnership with the St Albans Museum + Gallery, provides 20 years of exhibition curation expertise to create innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions that respond to the unique building and its collections. We are delighted to collaborate with Hayward Gallery Touring and St Albans Museum + Gallery to bring such a dynamic group of international artists and artworks to our audiences.

Hand Drawn Action Packed celebrates drawing and reveals the medium’s infinite possibilities for narrative invention. Three artists have created new works especially for the exhibition. Marcel van Eeden (b. 1965, Netherlands) who mixes fact and fiction in a series of 28 film noir style drawings, inspired by a 1936 newspaper report of a body found in a ditch on the outskirts of St Albans. Otobong Nkanga (b. 1974, Nigeria) visualises humanity's relationship with the earth’s resources in a suite of pictographic watercolours, illustrating the politics and poetics of geography. Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983, Belgium) has made two large-scale charcoal drawings on canvas that depict an imaginary artist, a self-mythologising painter who is preparing his own story for prosperity.

Like van Eeden and Van de Velde, Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957, USA) mixes image and text in his drawings, in ways that open up the meaning of both. Language generates imagery in the animated drawings of Amy Sillman (b. 1955, USA), created by using smartphone technology and in collaboration with poet Lisa Robinson, or in a different work, in response to Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’.

In the video animation by Inci Eviner (b. 1956, Turkey) human figures interact robotically with a hand-drawn underground scene - an allegory of artistic resistance and tyranny. Political realities are subtly communicated in Yun-Fei Ji’s (b. 1963, China) brush and ink scroll drawings depicting dispossession, forced migration and dictatorial power.

Hindu cosmologies and phantasmatic creatures are present in Indian artist Nalini Malani’s (b. 1946, Karachi) painterly drawings on Mylar, whist her animated film referencing Greek mythology is a quiet meditation on transience. William Kentridge’s (b. 1955, South Africa) sequence of intimate charcoal drawings of a woman getting into the bath is like stills in one of his renowned stop-frame animations. Marcel Dzama’s (b. 1974, Canada) portrays a theatrical world of masked and costumed performers in delicately drawn illustrations.

Roger Malbert, the curator of the exhibition says: “This is an all-star cast of brilliant artists, from many different backgrounds, and shows how many ways there are to tell stories and depict the complexities of the world with the simplest of means.”

Hand Drawn Action Packed is accompanied by an illustrated zine-style publication, designed by Stinsensqueeze, which maintains the spirit of the exhibition.