From Saturday (16 December) Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be hosting Ed Isaacs: Drawing Places exhibition – celebrating the city and beyond by bringing the urban city to life.

Wolverhampton based urban sketcher, Ed Isaacs is known across the West Midlands region for his meticulously detailed drawings focusing on the concept of place. His art depicts the area where he lives and works, and his travels beyond the region, as he endeavours to capture the ’genius loci’ or the spirit of the environment. Isaacs oftens sketches from direct observation later producing his large scale works in his studio. These initial sketches record the various journeys the artist takes within the region and further afield.

Drawing Places offers visitors a glimpse into the process behind the artist’s practice by displaying several of Isaacs’ sketchbooks within the exhibition. 

The exhibition uncovers 3 recurring themes within Isaacs’ work, beginning with his surreal drawings of local townscapes, imbued with a dreamlike quality. The introduction of bizarre and out of place elements creates a surreal and fantastical element to these urban scenes. This is followed by Isaacs’ depictions of sublime seascapes and other imposing nature juxtaposed with scenes of human detritus such as scrap metal and landfill sites. Isaacs’ more recent work is an exploration of the rapid documentation of images bearing witness to contemporary conflict on social media. 

Opening on Saturday 16 December, 2023, and running until Sunday 24 March, 2024, visitors will be able to see the in depth work that has taken place to capture a moment in time on the artist’s travels. Local visitors will instantly recognise various scenes across Wolverhampton and the surrounding Black Country within Isaacs’ work.

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Visitor City, Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, said: “Seeing the City of Wolverhampton depicted in such a defined and delicate way is beautiful. 

“The works in this exhibition really capture the essence of the city, surrounding areas, while also drawing attention to what is happening in the world today.

“There are a number of works that visitors will be able to identify of the city and I urge everyone to go take a look and take encouragement to draw, sketch the beautiful scenery of the city or simply what may be on their doorstep.”

Ed Issacs said: “Nearly 40 years ago I came to Wolverhampton to be interviewed for a job with the council. After the interview I was asked to stay on for the rest of the day so I could hear the result. During the break I visited the art gallery for the first time and have vivid memories of the pop art collection and also the large Richard Wilson painting of the Falls of Niagara. It would never have occurred to me that many years later there would be an exhibition dedicated to my work. I have always valued the city’s art gallery and feel very honoured to have my drawings and sketchbooks on show there.”

Visitors can see the exhibition at the Lichfield Street based gallery Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm). For more information on exhibitions, events and activities visit Wolverhampton Arts and Culture