Magnifying glass may be required as miniature Sherlocks go on show

MINISCULE but intricate drawings of characters from Sherlock Holmes films will form part of an exhibition at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre next month.

The drawings, by Marie Harnett, a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, measure less than 5cm by 12cm. Among the tiny portrayals are Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr; Irene Adler, played by Rachel McAdam; and Watson, played by Jude Law.

The exhibition, called A Parliament of Lines, showcases almost 60 drawings by 15 artists and includes some of the form’s smallest artworks.

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“A drawing can be a preparatory sketch or an end in itself,” said artist and curator of the show Euan Gray.

“It is a place where artists deliberate. More than any other medium, it reveals their intimate thoughts and workings.”

The artist Paul Chiappe is another ECA graduate, whose work features in a show at the Tate Gallery in London this year. It is represented by his equally tiny pencil-point portraits, so finely drawn that they resemble distorted vintage photographs.

Art connoisseurs will also enjoy the freely drawn sketches by the artist Moyna Flannigan, popular for her quirky figures and faces.

The exhibition explores connections to photographs, film and animation – with the artist David Shrigley represented in three animated films.

“When you look at Shrigley, there is definitely an element of drawing in the animation. The animation is in effect a type of drawing,” said Gray.

Artist Layla Curtis has produced a drawing based on a map of Edinburgh. It is done on tracing paper and uses the street names as an integral part of the artwork.

“It’s a survey of contemporary Scottish drawing. It’s quite a strong line-up and a lot of very interesting work is in the show.

“There’s a wide range of work, and I think that’s the aim behind the exhibition,” added Gray.

Scottish art colleges have tended to keep drawing skills at the centre of their curriculum in recent years, he said, while many English colleges have moved away from it amid a focus on conceptual art.

Harnett, based in Hertfordshire, is probably the youngest artist in the exhibition, Gray said.

“She just deals with these intense, very curious photo-real images from various films. She chooses a film, and gets the images off Youtube, not actually knowing what the film is about, and chooses interesting images.”

The exhibition, A Parliament of Lines, opens at the CAC on 5 May.