IMPROMPTU  an exhibition of the work of Andrew Litten

ONLY at the Drill Hall Gallery until this SUNDAY 6 May.

This exhibition brings together a collection of Andrew Litten’s small scale and spontaneously made art from the 1990’s. He chooses humble, unartlike domestic materials often drawn with a biro on note paper or old envelops, shopping bags, cardboard boxes, irregular bits of wood and furniture, to represent the transient incidental moments of life.


I attended life drawing classes age 16 whilst still at school with an interest in expressionist art. I then began art college, but after a few years ultimately found it a restricting and claustrophobic experience so decided not to continue with art education. I wanted to find my language in the domestic and the commonplace, away from what I perceived to be the guarded, impersonal language of high art at the time.

With what money I had, I travelled the UK looking for different subjects: different people, at home, in parks, in the street and different places. I created on kitchen tables, bedroom floors, in garden sheds, garages, attics and the cupboard under the stairs.

I believe firmly in the pursuit of developing an unconvoluted free flowing dialogue between my life and my art. A process of uninhibited divergent thinking aided the creative free flow and resulted in many hundreds of works produced each year. Some of the works reference titles of songs I was thinking about* and a general playful enjoyment of impromptu imagery took hold. I felt it was important not to ‘police my thoughts’ and wanted this phrase to resonate in the work.

During this time in the 1990s, I had no interest in making art that appeared ambitious or aspirational (as this would project conflicting motives) and I wanted to challenge the idea of creating art as a potential commodity. I deliberately chose humble, unartlike domestic materials and often drew with a biro pen on note paper or old envelopes. Cardboard boxes, irregular shaped bits of wood and furniture parts were reassembled and manipulated with figurative references, and each in their own way offered a purposely fragile or precarious support for the visual messages and the transient incidental life moments that I hoped to represent.

Andrew Litten

Fowey, Cornwall

SEE MORE of the artist’s work

Archive Selected Works 1990-99 Andrew Litten

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Updated:  27 August 2018/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery