UWE Bristol graduate Mr Doodle set to stage first museum exhibition

Media Relations Team, 22 April 2024

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Artist Mr Doodle drawing with a pen while sat on the floor, with the floor and wall covered in black doodle art on a white background
Photography by Morgan Davies © Mr Doodle

A former UWE Bristol illustration student is preparing to present his first ever UK museum exhibition.

The work of internationally renowned artist and internet sensation Mr Doodle will go on show at The Holburne Museum in Bath from next month.

Mr Doodle, aka Sam Cox, graduated from UWE Bristol in 2015. One of his tutors named him The Doodle Man, which he later shortened to Mr Doodle.

While his 2.9 million Instagram followers are familiar with his graffiti art of his clothes, car and home, inside and out, few have seen his personal sketchbooks which are overflowing with his extraordinary doodles.

The selection of Mr Doodle’s sketchbooks, going back to his teenage years, will provide the starting point for a show that will fill the gallery and spread across the walls, floor and ceiling of the Holburne Museum and beyond.

Primarily characterised by black ink on a white background, Mr Doodle’s graphic style conjures up a mesmerising world of quirky creatures and anthropomorphic forms, using ink pens and spray paint to intricately weave together what he describes as “graffiti spaghetti”. These free-hand doodles emerge from Mr Doodle’s pen with a fluid, hypnotic rhythm, filling sketchbooks and canvases with his imagined land, and when these surfaces become too restrictive, the doodles spill out to cover the surfaces of the world.

His work builds on the narrative of DoodleLand, telling the story of Mr Doodle’s life and his doodle family, including his evil twin Mas (aka Dr Scribble) and the Anti-Doodle Squad who intervene in his attempts to achieve his ultimate mission to doodle over the entire planet.

Part of this mission includes doodle interventions that will appear throughout the museum’s permanent collection, temporarily replacing a number of paintings and decorative objects with doodled canvases and 3-D sculptures inspired by their surroundings. These new works will open a dialogue between the museum’s historic collection and Mr Doodle’s distinctive drawing style, enabling visitors to see these artworks in an entirely new context. Doodles will also pop up throughout the rest of the building, in unexpected places including in the lift and along the cafe windows.

The exhibition, from 3 May until 1 September, will also spill into the wider city of Bath. Mr Doodle will be creating new site-specific work to occupy some of the main thoroughfares, including Milsom Street and Union Street. Visitors to Bath may spot the characteristic doodles on a phone box, bench seating and banners overhead.

Sam Cox, aka Mr Doodle, said: “My intention has always been to create a universal doodle language that can relate to and attract people from all over the world.”

Dr Chris Stephens, Director at the Holburne Museum, said: “At the Holburne we are working hard to present a wide and diverse range of artistic practice and I am delighted to be the first museum in the country to present the extraordinary world of Mr Doodle.”

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