Internationally renowned artist Marcel van Eeden is one of three artists who has created new works especially for Hand Drawn Action Packed, the new Hayward Gallery touring exhibition currently on at St Albans Museum and Gallery.

Dutch artist Marcel van Eeden has created a new series of 28 drawings for Hand Drawn Action Packed, titled The Radio Station. The work is based on two unusual occurrences that took place in St Albans more than 80 years ago: the first centres around a Post Office radio station near St Albans that was used to secretly intercept German wireless traffic from 1932, the earliest of its kind in Britain; the second concerns the gruesome account of ‘Red Max’ Kassel’s murder. Kassel was killed in Soho and his body was driven out of London to be dumped at the end of Cell Barnes Lane. The inquest into Red Max’s murder was held in the courtroom above the exhibition space where his work is displayed in St Albans Museum + Gallery.

On the occasion of Hand Draw Action Packed, Marcel van Eeden delved deep into the history of St Albans, researching newspaper articles and other material. Inventing a new story by interweaving real-life characters and events from St Albans past with his own fabrications, he playfully combines fact and fiction. Van Eeden’s story unfolds in a sequence across the 28 drawings, which are based on found archival photographs (all taken before 1965, the year of his birth) and accompanied by handwritten captions.

Drawn in oil-based compressed charcoal and highly contrasted black-and-white images, the work is imbued with suspense and drama, similar to the style of film noir (Hollywood crime dramas of the 40s and 50s). The artist draws our attention to fascinating, lesser-known aspects of St Albans’ history, asking the viewer to actively piece together the story drawing by drawing. Playing to our inherent curiosity, van Eeden invites us in as voyeurs of these intrigues, as we decipher the elaborate narrative he has constructed around the true facts.

Van Eeden is represented by Sprüth Magers gallery who won the prestigious 2018 Frieze Stand Prize in October 2018, which featured the artist’s work.

Hand Drawn Action Packed, curated by Roger Malbert, features ten artists whose practice springs from drawing and reveals the medium’s infinite possibilities for narrative invention.

The exhibition explores narrative in drawing and its many forms: from stories unfolding through a sequence to single images combined with words, and animation. The artists in Hand Drawn Action Packed make imaginative use of their tools - from a smartphone, a stick of charcoal to pen and ink - for story-telling, social critique and political allegory.

St Albans Museum + Gallery, Town Hall, St Peter’s St, St Albans, AL1 3DH. Details: 01727 864511,