Hand Drawn Action Packed features ten artists whose practice springs from drawing, and reveals the medium’s infinite possibilities for narrative invention.
The artists come from around the world (Belgium, Canada, China, India, Nigeria, the Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey and the USA), but their works all deploy narrative forms for fantasy, social critique, political allegory and autobiography to engage the viewer and hold their attention.
They make imaginative use of the tools at their disposal, whether it’s an iPhone, a computer screen and projector, a camera and a stick of charcoal, or pen and ink and watercolour.
The interplay between image and word in drawings by Raymond Pettibon, Marcel van Eeden and Rinus Van de Velde occurs in captions or speech bubbles, written with the same instrument as the drawing, and anchor or unhinge their meaning.
Language generates imagery in Amy Sillman’s animations, made using smartphones and iPads and created in collaboration with poets.
Nalini Malani’s stories, which incorporate Greek and Hindu myths, are brilliantly illustrated in her painterly drawings, while her animated film is a quiet meditation on transience, the image appearing and disappearing.
Inci Eviner’s ingenious video shows human figures interacting with a hand-drawn animation, while a sequence of drawings by William Kentridge reveals the process behind his stop-frame animations, capturing each stage of the visual narrative.
Political realities are subtly communicated in the images of power and dispossession by Yun-Fei Ji and Otobong Nkanga. And a theatrical world of masked and costumed performers is conjured in Marcel Dzama’s delicately drawn epic scenarios.
The exhibition opens at St Albans Museum + Gallery before touring throughout the UK, and is accompanied by a special publication.
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.