A blog of art, photography and other nice things.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I wrote a review!

I also tried my hand at writing a recently. My review, of the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Big Draw was featured was featured in the December issue of Westworld as well.

"Jerwood Drawing Prize
By Emma Bowles

The work in the exhibition, which runs from 29th September until 7th November, showcases around 70 examples of different styles and techniques creating a dialogue about drawing and the various forms it can take. Shortlisted from a total of near 3000 works, ranging from the traditional practices of sculpture, print and embroidery to more contemporary forms such as animation, digitally rendered work and even sound drawings, The Jerwood Drawing Prize always encourages an eclectic mix of styles, colours, mediums and subjects . Established in 1994, the prize is the UK’s largest open submission exhibition devoted solely to drawing.

First place of the 2010 show, and a £6000 grant, went to Virgina Verran for her work ‘Bolus-Space (Signal)’, 2009, a pen on canvas drawing using pattern, symbols and repetition. However favourites for me were the work of Sarah Tynan, ‘Untitled’, 2010, a detailed pencil on paper drawing depicting mattresses and curtains that used perspective to create the illusion of an expansive space, and ‘Untitled (A Distant Mirror)’, 2010, by Bristol based artist and former UWE student Aaron Sewards who creates simple yet charming watercolour works on paper.

I was less than impressed by the piece that won this year’s student prize. Compared to last year’s contribution by UWE’s very own Roxanne Goffin, currently in her third year of the Drawing and Applied Arts programme, who presented an attention grabbing experimental drawing of beetles applied directly onto animal bones, this year’s submission was just a little disappointing. ‘David M. Hutchinson  Drawing Device no. 436’, 2010, by Warren Andrews was a small painted cardboard structure that looked unfinished and left me bemused as to why it had beaten so many obviously more skilfully accomplished works in what is, after all, an exhibition celebrating one of humanities oldest skills, drawing.

At half 2 it was it was time for The Big Draw event to begin. Jerwood Prize 2010 artists Mark Farhall, Maryclare Foá, and Donna Huddleston were present to talk about their practices before participating in a hands on workshop exploring the material processes behind their work, as part of the free annual nationwide month long  ‘Campaign for Drawing’

Due to the plate full of piping hot food only just placed in front of me, subsequently I missed Mark Farhall’s talk, however I did manage to finish in time to slide into the group of people making their way towards the work of Donna Huddleston.Poppy’, 2010, is a drawing in watercolour, pencil and gouache on paper. This piece, is part of a body if development works for a future performance collaboration. It had a bright, beautiful aesthetic clearly showing the artist’s interest in stage and costume design. 

Next it was the turn of Maryclare Foá to speak. At first I was not so interested in Foá’s work, having skipped past it in the exhibition, disregarding it as too experimental for my personal tastes. Yet when forced to take more notice through listening to the artist’s description of their own works and working methods, I began to appreciate where the artist was coming from and the extent to which drawing can be so much more than just simple lines on a piece of paper. Her work, ‘Whispering Song’, 2010, (DVD), 3 mins: 3 secs, was essentially a documentation of what she described as a ‘sound drawing’, her explanation of this being that ‘sound is a drawing when received through your ear and then internally transformed by your mind’s eye’.

After these two talks we then were able to participate in workshops with the artists. Huddleston’s used collage to create images quickly before working them later in pencil and paint, while Foá’s, the more interesting of the two, also used collage to encouraged the creation of a layered ‘musical score' based on the sounds around us at that given moment. Due to the nature of the workshops there was no right or wrong, everyone who was involved managed to create visually stimulating experiments and the use of sound in drawings is definitely something worth exploring.

Overall I was very impressed with the standard of most of the work the exhibition offered and I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get involved with the one of the free Big Draw Campaign events, something I would recommend to anyone given the chance, whether artist or not

The Jerwood Drawing prize is now touring and can be seen at the following locations:

27th Nov 2010 – 23rd Jan 2011: South Hill park, Bracknell (www.southhillpark.org.uk)
5th March 2011 – 16th April 2011: Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Camarthen (www.oreilmyrddingallery.co.uk)
7th May 2011 – 12th June 2011: DLI Museum & Durham Art Gallery, Durham (www.durham.gov.uk/dli)

More information about the prize can be found at: http://www.jerwoodvisualarts.org/page/3095/Jerwood+Drawing+Prize+2010
More information about the Campaign for Drawings annual event The Big Draw can be found at: http://www.campaignfordrawing.org/bigdraw/"

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