AS a journalist it's hard not to feel a lot of fondness for the humble typewriter. Its utilitarian beauty, that pleasing percussive action of striking its keys, and the singularity of the page it produces, have had many a millennial trumpeting the typewriter's nostalgic appeal in an age of the almost entirely digital.

"I spend a lot of time in charity shops and car boot sales, and one day I found a typewriter for £2.50," says Flintshire-based artist Penny Alexander. "It was a 1980's one and was in this lovely box which was what really attracted me to begin with but when I looked inside I thought 'wow, that's really cool'.

"They're so deliberate - every press you have to think about what you're doing, unlike today, when you can just jam a load of letters onto your phone and it will autocorrect. You can see its innards and see how it works and there's something very tactile about them."

Penny, 33, who is originally from Abergele but now lives in Buckley, began using the typewriter as her main artistic tool, using it to create prints, maps, encoded music, projections and films.

"I am a very deliberate artist," she says. "I enjoy order and clarity and I've adopted a scientific approach in style and content, coupled with carefully considered imagery.

"I've been using the typewriter for about a decade now. I had my first daughter right after I graduated, so I was at home and really started missing being creative and one day I thought I'd start using the typewriter and since then there have been very few things I've done that haven't used it."

Historically, every method of using words has been turned into a method of making art. In medieval times, for example, artists in what is now the Middle East used elaborate calligraphy to turn religious texts into pictures. Though infrequently seen in the digital age, typewriter art was popular in the 1940s and was used by artists like the American Paul Smith, who suffered from severe spastic cerebral palsy, but discovered the typewriter and a technique for using it to create pictures.

"Outdated literature and obsolete methods are something I incline towards," she laughs. "I'm fascinated with language, history and social science and for this reason I frequently find myself taking inspiration from very old books and found text in medical papers and my work highlights these interests.

"After my daughter was born I felt like there was my life before and after and there was a new version of me. I realised how simple things were before but then I had this baby and felt quite isolated and creatively restricted.

"I threw myself into using the typewriter and made maps of every house I'd ever lived in, which became a study of how your environment impacts your wellbeing. People really liked it and it's now used as a resource material for medical students at the University of Kent."

This is the first time Penny has exhibited locally and she is excited about Theatr Clwyd highlighting her work.

"It's the first time it's been enlarged," she adds. "I'd never seen my work blown up like that and seeing things like the way the typewriter ink had bled into the paper was really interesting. I'm hoping it will be a new direction for me.

"Living in Flintshire I feel very much like I've come home and I think my love of language comes from the fact I spoke English at home but went to a Welsh language school.

"Having such a great cultural hub like Theatr Clwyd is lovely and it's really useful for chatting to other artists too which is something you can really miss when you're self-employed or working on your own. I'm always inspired by people and what they've done - talking and creating stuff is what it's all about!"

Penny Alexander's work is on display at Theatr Clwyd, Mold at part of Helfa Gelf until April 20.