A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition will open at Wolverhampton Art Gallery next month.

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Hand Drawn Action Packed showcases 10 international artists who explore the many ways that drawings convey narratives: from stories unfolding through a sequence, to single images combined with words, and animation.

The free exhibition can be viewed between Saturday 15 December and Sunday 3 March, during the Lichfield Street gallery's opening hours of Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm).

The artists in Hand Drawn Action Packed make imaginative use of their tools - from a smartphone, a stick of charcoal to pen and ink - for storytelling, social critique and political allegory.

The artists exhibiting are: 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. 

Three artists have created new works for the exhibition: Marcel van Eeden mixes fact and fiction in a series of 28 film noir style drawings, inspired by a 1930s newspaper report of a secret intercept station and a body found in a ditch on the outskirts of St Albans; Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga visualises humanity's relationship with the earth's resources in a suite of pictographic acrylics, illustrating the politics and poetics of geography; Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde's 2 large scale charcoal drawings on canvas depict an imaginary artist, a self mythologising painter who is preparing his own story for prosperity.

Accompanying these 3 artists are Raymond Pettibon, who 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, created 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 Turkisk artist Inci Eviner human figures interact robotically with a hand drawn underground scene - an allegory of artistic resistance to tyranny. Political realities are subtly communicated in Yun-Fei Ji's brush and ink scroll drawings depicting dispossession, forced migration and dictatorial power.

Hindu cosmologies and fantasmatic creatures are present in Indian artist Nalini Malani's painterly drawings on Mylar, whist her animated film - which references Greek mythology - is a quiet meditation on transience. William Kentridge's sequence of intimate charcoal drawings of a woman getting into the bath are like stills from one of his renowned stop frame animations. Marcel Dzama's portrays a theatrical world of masked and costumed performers in delicately drawn illustrations.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy said, "Drawing has developed through the years and is not limited to the traditional pencil skill we know. Through this exhibition we see a set of skills from international artists that introduce a new form for visitors to explore. Each work and artist is unique and I urge visitors to go to the gallery and see this exhibition for themselves."

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication, designed by Stinsensqueeze, which maintains the spirit of the exhibition and features texts by exhibition curator Roger Malbert.

He said, "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."

  • released: Monday 19 November, 2018