This years’ Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition is yet again a shining example that drawing is well and truly alive!
On a 35 degree hot September evening I attended the Private view, as I’m very proud to once again be selected to exhibit in this truly unique show, exclusive to the practice of contemporary drawing.
Walking through the exhibition as an exhibiting artist, I felt privileged to be amongst works that actively promote what drawing can be, not what it should be. From planks of wood that explored the contours of its material and needle and thread used as a pen to mark cloth, to the sublimely simple act of using ink on paper in a ritualistic and microscopic way. The show indulgently felt like opening up a shiny new tin of Quality Streets at Christmas! The variety (and yes, the quality) makes this a very exciting and very relevant show.
My piece (below) is book 6 in my Imagery imaginary series and is about tracing the urban landscape through observed and imaginary marks. A recurring theme in my work is urban vs. nature and creating a kind of balance in order to demonstrate my concept of an idealistic space.
One of my favourite pieces in the exhibition was this digital collage/drawing titled ‘Cumulative Loss II’ by Kate Fahey. She states that her work…
…explores the fallibility of mass proliferated, digital images and engages with the landscape through contemporary screen based perspectives, such as Google cartography, aerial, satellite and elevated views. She is interested in the entropy of images and focuses on areas of rupture, both conceptually and physically.
For me, what was striking about this piece was the fragility of it, which is reflected in her choice of materials. Printed on Japanese Shino hara paper it gives the drawing an ethereal quality – a juxtaposition in the longevity of digital.
When it came to the end of the evening and the winner being announced – I won the bet! The Jerwood Drawing Prize is far from predictable but it felt it had been a long time coming for a video entry to finally win the prize and further establish the notion of what the contemporary landscape for drawing looks like. Solveig Settemsdal’s video ‘Singulairty’ is a beautifully mesmerising work and thoroughly deserved the prize.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize is the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK, and for good reason! I encourage anyone who wants to be inspired by the breadth and diversity of drawing today, to come and see this show.