How many artists have actually invented a new drawing medium?

The distinctive style of Hilary Senhanli’s images is derived from a curious drawing implement of her own design.  With it she dexterously drizzles a liquid black line, her deft hand economically describing complex masses of humanity. 

These crowded worlds begin as many plein-air sketches. Armed with her more traditional graphite pencils and note books, Hilary observes the waves of people washed together on public transport, going shopping, or watching sporting events. This information is then pared back and transcribed in the studio. 

Casually included but insightfully observed within the resulting orchestrated crowds, we get a glimpse of more private relationships. Modest moments between friends; intimate ones between couples; children being cared for by doting or instructive parents; and larger subsets of whole families or gangs of mates are keenly realized. 

People like ourselves, friends and strangers are spontaneously and intuitively rendered in delicious black honey.  This, like the black- lead- lines in a church window, is not only the structural strength of the image, but the basis of the medium’s aesthetic.

Although busy, we feel unhurried by these unpretentious images, and engaged by their simple familiarity.

Robert Clinch


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