Whilst the artists in this exhibition can be described as engaged in drawing, and share a meticulous, sometimes obsessive, even adolescent relationship to their subject matter, their work represents four very different approaches to the medium.

Graham Dolphin’s work acknowledges a quiet obsession with the world of mass culture and the effect it has on our society through its advertisements, icons and other objects. Disdainful and attracted in equal measure, Dolphin reconfigures its products. For his most recent series of works, Dolphin has handwritten in small script the song lyrics from iconic bands such as Joy Division and The Velvet Underground. Rendered in bright fibre-tipped pen, each song is assigned a colour, then written out in a continuous sentence. Stripped of their record company branding, the lyrics become a banal sequence of random utterances; the ‘prettiness’ of their execution concealing the tales of angst and passion contained within.

David Mackintosh creates simple and immediate drawings with a brush and gouache on large sheets of paper. Their visual directness contrasts with the bleak, even macabre subject matter: demonic figures, accident scenes, disembodied anatomical details and misanthropic slogans. Mackintosh employs a dark humour in an exploration of the human condition; the repressed, negative imagery revealing his fascination in the human capacity for hatred. Whilst such content, with its apparent casualness, can leave the viewer feeling uncomfortable, Mackintosh intends this discomfort to make us question to what degree we ourselves may be implicit in such negativity.

Andrew McDonald’s digital prints are first drawn on a computer. Veering between a playful absurdity and a sinister desolation, on closer inspection, empty rooms reveal themselves as potential sites of some misdemeanour; landscapes and natural forms such as plants are not objects of beauty for our admiration, but instead become inhospitable things that threaten to entrap us. When it appears, the human figure is always incomplete, manifesting itself as a wandering headless figure, or a disconnected body part that has been cut off – by the picture’s edge or literally. McDonald’s work appears both fascinated and disappointed with the world around him, one that is both fantastical and dysfunctional.

Morten Schelde samples childhood memories, depicting the intersection of physical and imaginary spaces. Exploring the gap between romance and melancholy, belief and skepticism, mirroring and obstructing, he involves himself in the recycling and re-invention of images (here drawn from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel ‘Treasure Island’). However, this is no nostalgia trip or ‘boy’s own’ adventure. Within his ‘inner landscapes’ Schelde creates a new universe, where the unfamiliar penetrates, populated by shadowy figures. In Self portrait as fourteen pirates (2005), the construction of narrative and the blurring of reality and fiction is reflected in the playful changing of formats and colours between individual drawings.

Read Sally O’Reilly’s essay They call us lonely when we’re really just alone.