‘Drawn’
The Street Gallery,
University College Hospital,
WC1
(until 13th July)

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This informal gallery, an integral part of the public area of UCH (Euston Road entrance), stages regular exhibitions, and deserves to be more widely known.  The current exhibition, curated by Arts Curator Guy Noble (guy.noble@uclh.nhs.uk) under the auspices of UCLH Arts and Heritage, comprises works by nine established artists, and includes pencil, pen and chalk drawings, etchings and digital prints.

The exhibition is dominated physically by Jessie Brennan’s ‘Medway’ triptych, portraying relics of industries on the banks of the River Medway, all at first glance apparently all in scale.  But on looking more closely, the eyes are drawn to various tiny images – a group of people, quarrying equipment, a crane – that set the observer’s eyes darting among the larger images to find more.  Oliver Kemp explores the tension between the natural world and man-made structures in ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’: a rabbit hutch perches precariously on a bough of an ancient tree next to a shooting butt, and the trees in the background bridge the two worlds as they are seen to be arranged in lines and have clearly been planted to plan.  I particularly enjoyed Frances Richardson’s abstract images composed entirely from swirling arrangements of + and – signs, but there is nothing here that is not worth close study and the breadth of subject matter and styles ensures an enriching visit, and must also be a welcome diversion for patients waiting for their drugs or having coffee before a clinic attendance.

And on leaving, turn right and walk a few metres to the Wellcome Trust’s building to enjoy ‘Tools of the Trade’, by Stuart Haygarth, six arresting structures composed entirely of chemical apparatus.

William Marshall © 2016.

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