Sketchbooks can show the unfolding of an idea in sequence, developed through experiments with shapes and colour variations. Works in the exhibition that started life in a sketchbook include Prism's Not titled [red shoes] and Lister's Mr Sinister.
Taken from a small sketchbook drawing, the work Mr Sinister illustrates the artist’s signature style of angular, expressive lines and large blocks of colour. The splatter of pink spray-paint across the left had side of the composition gives the impression that the Dracula inspired figure of Mr Sinister has been caught in the gruesome act of feasting on his victim’s blood. This drawing has been enlarged and developed as unique work on paper especially for the national collection.
Sketchbooks also give an insight into the development of creative processes. Reks’s sketchbook, Chickenpox, evokes the viral spread of street art through the urban landscape. Like many sketchbooks, it shows the unfolding of an idea in sequence, developed through experiments with shapes and colour variations. An image of children in a playground changes mood with different coloured skies, and again with the introduction of a Star Wars space-ship motif borrowed from another page in the sketchbook. Reks zooms in on a face across three pages so that it becomes increasingly fragmented and abstract.