Homage to Anonymous by Gary Lawrence (detail).
This year the Jerwood Drawing Prize grows more influential than ever. During his speech at the opening of the exhibition last night art historian Tim Marlow told us that there were a record number of entrants this year: 1, ampoule 779 artists submitted 3, ambulance 354 entries in total. In describing the continuing importance of drawing judge Tim Marlow drew our attention to the new Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts which opens this weekend. It concentrates on Degas‘ relationship with the new disciplines of photography and film as he explored ways of recording movement in ballet 150 years ago. Despite the prevalence of these other mediums today they can never entirely replace the visual discipline of drawing.
Without further ado here’s the work of the winners, order and my favourites from a selection of everything else.
I was drawn to Homage to Anonymous by Gary Lawrence the minute I stepped foot in the gallery. This giant biro drawing is a complex, surreal, fantastic piece of artwork. Gary accepted this years Jerwood Prize turned out in scruffy tracksuit bottoms with a greying beard and described his drawing as ‘a tribute to all the anonymous artists through history who made work but are unrecognised.’ The Essex based artist took a year to create his work of art, which was based on a view of Pothea on the Greek island of Kalymnos, which he visited on holiday. Over time the drawing gradually transmogrified into something far more complex, taking on historical references to town views by other artists across time.
The Cut (details) by Jessie Brennan.
Jessie Brennan‘s five metre long The Cut was inspired by oral histories of the Lea River Navigation Canal, and features a delicate array of found objects piled up in curious arrangements. Scale becomes distorted when you realise the presence of little people at the foot of the drawing.
Nicki Rolls took second prize in the Student Awards for her Sketch, a black and white film that screens against a sketchbook.
A very well deserved first prize went to Kristian Fletcher of the University of West England, who boasts ten years experience in the construction industry. His dimly lit Lake consists of an eery industrial space where hard edged architecture looms over an ominous section of chainlink fence.
Surrealism was a common theme amongst short listed entries. I particularly liked Pattern of Faerie Tales by Iain Andrews, which was stacked up loosely on a table. Giant fish lie on chicken feet tables and maidens sit beneath crepuscular bugs, in scenes inspired by the words of Tolkien.
Adam Bainbridge‘s Interior combines memories with absurd imaginings: tracking the formation of clay ornaments in soft focus.
Gefallener by Johanna Love.
Untitled 2 by Janine Rook.
Abstract paper layers featured in several artworks. Robert Battams used graph paper to stack patterns inspired by the fragmentations of digital recording.
Kasia Depta-Garapich‘s Organic Structure, Animation Still merges drawing, sculpture and animation in a curious fluttering object of semi-transparent layers.
Simon Leahy-Clark stacked newspaper in random grid formations created around the missing content.
Polly Yates considers herself a weaver of paper: circular cutouts and felt tips create the push and pull of space in Untitled (Folds).
Explosions of colour and pattern will always turn my eye. I loved Imagery Imaginary Volume 1 by Lottie Jackson-Eeles, a concertina-ed sketchbook tracing her journeys through London in glorious colourful detail. Peeks between the pages reveal details such as wind mills and towerblocks. Do take a look at her website: there is some fabulous work on there.
Steven Lowery‘s artwork is a protest agains the mindlessness of celebrity infested tabloids and reality TV, set against a love of improvisational music – the tightly crafted words and images curling in and out of each other in Shepherd’s Fry Up.
Mouth Full of Triangles 4 by Sally Taylor is a clever and curiously amusing piece.
Ground Truth and Deep Grief by Louisa Fairclough are simple watercolour paintings of tents, formed after ritual cycle rides taken along the Severn river at full moon. She sleeps on the ground, at the edge of the river: feeling the pulse of the tides.
Drawing Room by Fran Richardson is a large charcoal artwork, an evocative space of flouncy curtains that invites the viewer inside.
Photorealism in Girl Bag by Kristian Evju cleverly catches the sense of limbo within a narrative.
Reginald Aloysius used pencil and enamel paint to create an eery netherworld, where ancient temples and airplane routes collide.
Fashion meets art. Inspired by memories and moths, Tree (Catocala) by Ash Summers perhaps unwittingly echoes the ikat patterns of the new season’s fabrics.
This year there was a greater prevalence of barely there diminutive abstracts, surely a reflection of influential judge Rachel Whiteread‘s tastes.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize is a must for all practicing artists, whatever your discipline. It runs until 30th October at the Jerwood Space and then heads out to BayArt in Cardiff and Burton Museum & Art Gallery in Devon. Full listing information here.
- Review: The Jerwood Painting Fellowships
- Jerwood Drawing Prize 2009-Last chance to see drawing’s finest
- Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010: Exhibition Review
- Exhibition: Every Eye sees Differently as the Eye
- The lobster within: Performance artist Edwina Ashton at Jerwood Space