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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011: Exhibition Review

More fantastic drawing at this years Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition. Favourites include the work of winners Gary Lawrence and Kristian Fletcher, plus Iain Andrews, Lottie Jackson-Eeles, Louisa Fairclough and Fran Richardson.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Homage to Anonymous by Gary Lawrence
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: 1,779 artists submitted 3,354 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, and my favourites from a selection of everything else.

Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Homage to Anonymous by Gary LawrenceJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Homage to Anonymous by Gary Lawrence
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 Over time the drawing gradually transmogrified into something far more complex, taking on historical references to town views by other artists across time.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 (detail) by Jessie BrennanJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-The Cut (detail) by Jessie Brennan
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.

Sketch by Nicki Rolls
Nicki Rolls took second prize in the Student Awards for her Sketch, a black and white film that screens against a sketchbook.

Lake by Kristian Fletcher
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.

Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Pattern of Faerie Tales by Iain AndrewsJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Pattern of Faerie Tales by Iain AndrewsJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Pattern of Faerie Tales by Iain Andrews
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.

Interior by Adam Bainbridge
Adam Bainbridge’s Interior combines memories with absurd imaginings: tracking the formation of clay ornaments in soft focus.

Gefallener by Johanna Love
Gefallener by Johanna Love.

Untitled 2 by Janine Rook
Untitled 2 by Janine Rook.

The abstract patterns of dirt were big news: Johanna Love and Janine Rook traced the minutest amounts of fluff in delicate detail.

Untitled by robert Battams
Abstract paper layers featured in several artworks. Robert Battams used graph paper to stack patterns inspired by the fragmentations of digital recording.

Organic Structure, Animation still by Kasia Depta-Garapich
Kasia Depta-Garapich’s Organic Structure, Animation Still merges drawing, sculpture and animation in a curious fluttering object of semi-transparent layers.

Untitled by Leahy Clark
Simon Leahy-Clark stacked newspaper in random grid formations created around the missing content.

Polly Yates (folds)
Polly Yates considers herself a weaver of paper: circular cutouts and felt tips create the push and pull of space in Untitled (Folds).

Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Lottie Jackson-EelesJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Lottie Jackson-EelesJerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Lottie Jackson-Eeles
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.

Shepherd's Fry Up by Steven Lowery
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 by Sally Taylor
Mouth Full of Triangles 4 by Sally Taylor is a clever and curiously amusing piece.

Jerwood Drawing Prize review 2011-Ground Truth and Deep Grief by Louisa Fairclough
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
Drawing Room by Fran Richardson is a large charcoal artwork, an evocative space of flouncy curtains that invites the viewer inside.

Girl Bag by Evju_Kristian
Photorealism in Girl Bag by Kristian Evju cleverly catches the sense of limbo within a narrative.

25a GF067 by Reginald S. Aloysius
Reginald Aloysius used pencil and enamel paint to create an eery netherworld, where ancient temples and airplane routes collide.

Tree (catocala) by Ash Summers
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.

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2 Responses to “Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011: Exhibition Review”

  1. [...] in a newly established gallery, The Stone Space, in Leytonstone, East London. If you liked the Jerwood Drawing Prize this should be right up your [...]

  2. Kevin says:

    Nice review.

    Gary Lawrence (Jerwood Prize winning artist 2011) has an exhibition at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Wetcliff-on-Sea until March 30th, 2013.

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