Drawing of graphite on paper of domestic scene showing a room with bookcases and open windows.
“Home V”, 2021, graphite on paper, 56 x 77cm. Photo credit: John Howard Davies.

Fitzrovia Gallery on Whitfield Street is hosting an interesting looking exhibition of drawings by Alexandra Blum this month.

Two groups of drawings will form the heart of this exhibition, as the artist explains: “The first made whilst I was at home in north London during the Covid pandemic, the second made over the past year, looking out from my fifth-floor studio within Westminster Industrial Estate behind the Thames Barrier, London.”

The title of the show, “Wayfaring”, refers to the artist’s unique way of approaching her graphite on paper works, as she explains: “At first glance they are distinct sets of drawings, juxtaposing domestic and industrial experiences of London. Yet ‘wayfaring’, as a method of negotiating space, is vital to both.”

Alexandra elaborates: “Drawing gives me an exhilarating way of directly observing and recording the urban spaces I encounter daily within London. They are also records of the events taking place which I notice whilst drawing. I’m drawing the world ‘in progress’ and using my drawing process to reveal the story of place inherent within each location.”

The work is fascinating, and puts me in mind of the externalisation of interior thoughts and impressions. All the classic rules of composition and perspective are sidelined and what we see is an explosion of details — a plug or a paper clip or other minutiae of daily life has the same importance as a church tower or an industrial building viewed through an open window. She draws the way we think, our brains darting from image to image.

Alexandra has exhibited extensively, including having a work selected for The Royal Academy Summer Show, this year, and has led several drawing workshops at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

There will be an artist’s talk at 3pm on 21 October, and the exhibition will be accompanied by an essay by Dr Rachel Sloan, assistant curator of works on paper, The Courtauld Gallery.

Wayfaring — An exhibition of drawings, by Alexandra Blum, at the Fitzrovia Gallery, 139 Whitfield Street, London W1T 5EN. From 18 to 28 October 2023. Open daily from 12noon to 6pm / Closed on Monday.