Thinking Through Drawing - cromer ARtspace

Thinking Through Drawing

The following artists are part of the Thinking Through Drawing exhibition, 16th May to 3rd June 2024.

Elisa Alaluusua

“These drawings capture a moment in time in a particular place. It is curious to think how they might be perceived elsewhere. They resemble the view I observed as I was travelling between the farm and the woods during sunny and cold spring days in Lapland. I can hear the snowmobile pulling the sledge as I perch on top of a pile of freshly cut down birch trees that are piled up high. The ride is bumpy, the light is bright, the air is fresh, and I can feel the hard labour in my aching muscles. None of us is getting any younger.”

Elisa Alaluusua (UK/Finland) is a visual artist working in the field of drawing using both paper and video. She originates from Finnish Lapland and has spent two decades in London. She has been exhibiting internationally since the 1990s. Alaluusua is the 1st prize winner of Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2022 and was awarded the 2nd prize in Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015.


​ @artalaluusua

Scott Donaldson

I am an artist based in Fife, Scotland. I work primarily with graphite and enjoy the process of illustrating dynamic subject matter with simple tools.

Roshan Chhabria

Roshan lives and works in Vadodara, India, and graduated with gold medals in BA and MA from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. He is represented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

He makes drawings and paintings arranged singly or in cluster-like arrangement of texts and found objects. Popular culture, consumerism, and stereotypes have played a significant role in his work; visual cues and illustrations found in locally published books, women’s magazines, the newspaper, eye-catchy local signboards, texts from religious, found objects sit together infused with the spirit of Dada.

Humour and double meanings are inherent, laced with the constant reservation and doubt Roshan has about his own life decisions. The use of text both found and written by him, as well as the utilization of a ‘peculiar’ and questionable aesthetic also becomes a route to question the notion of the ‘good’; ‘misspellings and inconsistent conjugation’ positioning Roshan right at the knife’s edge between two worlds.

Stephanie Douet

Solo exhibitions include ‘Flatpackers’, Prostor, Split, 2023, ‘Hobson-Jobson’, Museum of Legacies, Jaipur, India, 2019, ‘Real/Non-Real’, Modern Art Oxford, 2013. She was shortlisted for Contemporary British Painting and awarded DYCP by Arts Council England in 2019. Her solo exhibition’ Splits’ is at the Croatian Embassy, London in November.She makes painted life-size sculptures loosely based on historical episodes and styles, such as optical instruments, chinoiserie, Russian ballet and currently Yugoslavian monuments. Her superficial researching launches her into drifts of imagination. Improvised arrangement is an important part of the process, as is flighty reading and museum visits. She creates a world of absurd, colourful characters that aims to divert and unsettle the viewer.

IndoAnglian Conversations is an 8 year long chat between Roshan Chhabria in Varodada, southern India, and Stephanie Douet in Norfolk. Since their chance encounter on Instagram in 2016 they have been exchanging ideas, sketches and photos about their respective art practices – criticism, doubts, suggestions, encouragement.

Instagram @IndoAnglianConversations

Human Geometry’ by Stephanie Douet and Roshan Chhabria

The wall-drawing manifests a Whatsapp conversation between the two artists. Objective geometry dissolves into absurdity as one looks closer – precise lines become fizzing particles and what was meant to clarify, confuses.

This drawing conversation began with Roshan finding an old photo of a woman and a man overpainted with geometric measurements. They replaced the male figure with Roshan’s existing drawing of a diagrammatic man, drawn onto the picture-plane as though in conversation with the sculpted photo of the woman.

Rachel Fijalkowska

This work emerges from my research about utopia as a concept and a place. My interest is in the idea that utopia is an internal rather than external space, and that it is possible to create balance through challenging the mind and body, finding stillness and mental peace through exercise, movement and meditation, whilst living within conventional society rather than removing oneself from it.

These drawings are based on photographs of me training on a tightrope and trampoline, and others taken of professional performers. They are drawn onto my photographs of shadows, reflecting the liminal mental space in which I find myself when focusing on training to perform difficult physical activities, forcing the mind to let go of other thoughts and function in the immediate moment. The tightrope and trampoline lift me physically to a different level, off the ground; the mind follows, a transcendence that initiates liberation from the trials of everyday existence.

Krzysztof Fijalkowski

These drawings are ‘mind maps’ made in preparation for writing texts. As such they are always speculative and incomplete, charting the constellations of the not-yet-understood: an open moment that comes before more formal knowledge. They are a way of grasping ideas in early flow, full of missteps and fleeting thoughts, but at the same time they can start to sketch out the hidden structures and relationships of ideas, which begin to assert themselves as the map takes shape.

The tensions and conversations between drawing and writing are among the questions in play here, where drawing works to inscribe meaning, and handwriting is a special kind of drawing. In these maps, both are left to be as carefree and spontaneous as possible: you never know when something charged as a mistake might turn out to hold the missing key to the whole.

Arieh FroshandEd Compson

Arieh Frosh and Ed Compson are artists and programmers who, since 2020, have worked collaboratively on socially engaged, technologically-driven projects. So far, these have looked at the effect of wind energy discourse on imagination; the relationship between data and sound; and how we relate to the medically imaged body.

They are currently East Gallery Fellows at Norwich University of the Arts where they are researching how the meeting of contemporary offshore wind turbines with the geological history of Doggerland could be a tool to creatively explore the historical, cultural, and political narratives surrounding wind energy and oceanic thinking. 

Laminar (Flow/Flint) is a visual contemplation between the diagrammatics of wind turbine blade theory and a palaeolithic knapped flint tool found as part of The University of Bradford’s Europe’s Lost Frontiers project. , @edcompson 

Craig Frost

Craig was born and raised in Norwich and takes his inspiration from the architectural and cultural landscape of his home city. 

 He explores places that are overlooked by blending an investigation of Psychogeography and an interrogation of the systems and rule sets that govern urban space. His work stands as an ongoing dialogue with the banality of everyday experience. 

 Craig graduated from the University of East Anglia as a mature student with an MA in Art History in 2018. He then went on to complete a diploma in Fine Art at the Anteros Arts Foundation.

​He is a member of Norwich Printmaking Hub and the Norwich 20 Group.


Sam Hodge

These are drypoint drawings of the crack patterns in shattered glass – windows, doors, iPads and mobile screens. These are traced onto transparent plastic sheets with a sharp needle and then inked and printed like etchings. Accidental or intentional violence damages glass irreversibly, reminding us of the fragility of human-made things. Its sharpness is dangerous and its complexity unwelcome. Because of this, broken glass is often used as a metaphor for the irreversible fracture of a person or society. The process of drawing focuses prolonged even loving attention on these results of a moment of destructive force, while the transformation into print allows an appreciation of the beauty and variety of crack patterns that have emerged; encouraging connections with natural history illustrations. Initially drawn to the beauty and variety of the crack patterns, she soon realised that the stories behind them were just as interesting. The rupture produced by an accident prompts people to remember banal details about their everyday lives at that moment. A collection of drypoint drawings and their stories were printed in a book; ‘A Catalogue of Misfortune’ published in 2015 in a limited edition of 750. Sam Hodge is painter and printmaker based in East London.  She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and Painting Conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art and worked as a painting conservator, including at Tate, before starting to play seriously at making her own work in 2008. Since then, she has exhibited widely in The UK and abroad. Her work is in numerous private collections and her artist’s book ‘A Catalogue of Misfortune’ has been acquired by public collections including MoMA and The Met in New York.  @samhodgeart

Sarah Horton

I am an artist-researcher interested in multiplicity, pattern and repetition. I have written for various journals and am an editorial board member for the ‘Drawing Research Theory and Practice’ journal. My latest publication is ‘Pattern and Chaos in Art, Science and Everyday Life’, co-edited with Victoria Mitchell. I am a Reader in Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts and have taught fine art at all levels in post-compulsory education.


Instagram: sarah.horton_artist

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to be in two places’

Lines of ink on paper, repeated and reiterated, and a to-and-fro of thinking and not-thinking. “What happens if I make this kind of mark, use a roller instead of a brush, switch hands, or stand the paper on its edge?” Eventually, however, there is an ‘emptying out’. Questions subside and I’m aware only of my breath, the left-to right gesture of the brush, and the ink as it pools, drags or seeps across the paper.

Maria Teresa Ortoleva

Ortoleva is a London-based Italian artist. Her research-based practice traverses science and mental wellbeing, creating data-based sculptures, installations and diagrammatic drawings of our human mind, thinking processes and the imagination. She currently has been awarded UKRI funding to complete a PhD in Data Physicalisation at King’s College London (2023-27) following a previous collaboration as a King’s Artist in Residence (2020-22) and is represented by Luca Tommasi gallery in Milan.

The artworks in Thinking Through Drawing focus on liminal states of consciousness where our rational experience of reality fades and merges with dream and imagination. Drawn digitally over book pages and a selfie while reading in bed, the works on paper articulate impressions, thoughts, literary suggestions, personal associations and recollections around the moments of drifting into sleep and waking up. The three acrylic glass pieces present signature brainwave patterns captured by an electroencephalograph (EEG) when someone closes and reopens their eyes again. In my art practice I am interested in EEG as a form of automatic writing the machine lends to our mind to capture in real time the elusive states we can only attempt to recall after experiencing them, such as dream, reverie, reminiscence.

Marion Piper

I have been drawing geometric movements on a grid as the main focus of my work since graduating in 2012. My game plan is to reveal some of the infinite permutations of line and shape; this activity is enduringly compelling.

I embrace the spatial dynamics that occur during the drawing process and within these I set visual rhythms in the drawing sequences, across paper and canvas.

Drawing opens up a place for me to respond with studio curiosity, to art history, colour interaction and the exploration of surface and materials.


Instagram @marion_piper

Peter Randall-Page

Peter Randall-Page sculpture at Bath Academy of Art from 1973-1977. He gained an international reputation through his sculpture, drawings and prints. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the world including Japan, South Korea, Australia, USA, Turkey, Eire, Germany and the Netherlands. A selection of his public sculptures can be found in many urban and rural locations throughout the UK including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge and his work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery and the British Museum amongst others.

His practice has always been informed and inspired by the study of natural phenomena and its subjective impact on our emotions. In recent years his work has become increasingly concerned with the underlying principles determining growth and the forms it produces. In his words “geometry is the theme on which nature plays her infinite variations, and can be seen as a kind of pattern book on which the most complex and sophisticated structures are based.”

David Reekie

As a three-dimensional artist I am driven by the need to make things and to do this I need to go through a drawing process. Starting with rough sketches I develop the idea and progress on to more substantial drawings, these images give me the basis to make the work. This process will lead to a longer session of drawing from which other potential ideas will come. I am an international artist living and working in Norfolk and show regularly with galleries in the USA, France, and The Netherlands. My work is represented in various museums and art galleries both here and abroad, including the V&A in London and the Castle Museum & At Gallery in Norwich.

My work is influenced by man’s reaction and adaptation to the society in which he lives. We live in a world that grows more complex and difficult to comprehend, with its tensions and temptations that pulls us in different directions. These conflicts provide ideas from which I create characters and situations and provide me with a constant source of material for my work.

In 1939 in his novel Tropic of Capricorn, Henry Miller made this observation: “Life becomes a spectacle and if you happen to be an artist, you record the passing sho

Drawing is the life blood of my work and ideas, it is a process I enjoy and allows me to develop an idea to a stage where I know I can turn this idea into a three dimensional sculpture.

Carl Rowe

 I make paintings, prints, drawings, and objects. Recent works wrangle subjects such as gases, particulates, pollen, eels, traps, calibrations, marker points, fonts, logos, and domestic objects. At times, geometric forms, lines, and shapes intersect or abut exactly. Elsewhere, they mis-align, glance, or overlap. Real space coexists with imaginary space in an implausible graphic paradigm. Sometimes I use text, either to convey subject or for its shape. Colour is notable, in some works naturalistic and low key, but in others it is ramped-up to a feverish vibrancy. There is a strong sense of duality and unseen forces at play.

 Drawing is an important part of generating the unexpected. I use experimental processes such as collage, cut-up, and paste. When I am in the right mood, I allow images to bubble up from my unconscious or subconscious self. On other occasions, I use technical drawing to render precise forms, edges and intersections.


Philip Walmsley

Philip Walmsley’s drawings demonstrate three things; the relationships between solidity and transparency, interior and exterior spaces and underlying structures in both man-made and natural forms.

The drawings, although conceptual, refer to both real and imaginary spaces/structures. He works with 4H – 4B pencils on Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm handmade paper.

Do you remember visits to relatives’ houses as a child? Wondering what upstairs was like, how the rooms fitted together, wanting to explore yet not sure if you could. I still think about the relationship of one room to another, one level to another and the interior to exterior. In large buildings such as a multiplex cinema or an Ikea store, we have little or no idea of our position in relationship to the overall building. That curiosity underpins my work’.  

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