Artists: Anja Urhen
Title: A Portrait of Sheffield
Dates: 27.07.16 – 30.07.16
Statement/Essay:
I find myself increasingly interested in exploring places and spaces through drawing.

Drawing engages all senses. By carefully observing surface as well as underlying structure it is possible to capture atmosphere, character and all the hidden stories of times past and present and potentially yet to come.

Having never been to Sheffield before, I have approached this time as unpremeditated as possible and spent four weeks exploring the city through drawing, trying to capture its essence and energy.

My work is greatly based on narratives and I am interested in finding ways of having these narratives come to me by impulses, rather than consciously constructing them. A whole month of opening my mind to hitherto unknown surroundings seems like a perfect scenario for attracting stories and I have used this opportunity to test this theory, which will have a great influence on my future work.

In retrospect my time here has been more valuable than I ever could have imagined. I was spoilt with choice and the hardest part was the editing of all the experiences and impressions and deciding which areas to focus on. Once I started drawing a whole network of opportunities opened up and all the places I have seen and people I have met have left me as inspired and motivated as I haven’t been in quite a while. It proved once again how powerful drawing can be, as a way of connecting with, navigating and experiencing a completely new environment. After just a few weeks I’ve already started to feel at home.

Anja is a freelance Illustrator currently based in Bournemouth.