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Show RCA 2019

Alexandra Pullen

Show RCA work

Major project:

Sketches for Recovery

This collection of writing and drawings encompasses ideas of realisation and recovery, within a narrative of the female artist. It is the culmination of ideas that I have been thinking about, and working on, for some time. The drawings include:

Hands of a Culture

Où sont les Femmes dans la Bande Dessinée

Rebuilding the Castle

Patterns for a Renewal

The companion text that I have written, Fragments of Recovery, and its blueprint Sketches of Recovery, are an autobiographical reflection on chronic illness, being a woman, and specifically, being a woman artist. I have aspired to elucidate my own experiences and reflect upon these through my work. The exploration of illness is not only thematic, but bound together with the cathartic process of making. My work strives to vindicate the formal, classical and material methods of expression through drawing and writing.

Key references for this work include Franco-Belgian bande dessinée (L'Écho des Savanes, Hara-Kiri, Fluide Glacial), comic strip and graphic novels (Alison Bechdel, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi), mythologies, specifically Greek and Japanese mythology and female artists and writers (Anne Carson, Marina Warner, Leonora Carrington). The recurring motif of the cicada is my chosen symbol of rebirth, realisation and recovery.


  • Previous degrees

  • BFA, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, 2014
  • Experiences

  • Workshop assistant, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Overdrawn', London Drawing Group, Buster Mantis, 2019; 'Trio', Old Fire Station, Oxford, 2016; OVADA Seven Counties Open, Oxford, 2015; Wells Art Contemporary, Wells and Mendip Museum, 2015
  • Publications

  • Drawn Poorly Magazine, Issue Four, 2019
  • Awards

  • Rishi Mullett-Sadones Memorial Prize, OVADA, 2016; Ashmolean Museum Vivian Leigh Prize, 2014; Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize, London, 2017
Royal College of Art