Monday, May 18, 2015

Jerwood Drawing Prize: Call for Entries

The Call for Entries has gone out for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015.  This is the largest and longest running drawing prize in the UK. Deadline for registering up to three entries is 5pm on 26 June 2015.

[Please note this post was revised on 19th May - I had a niggle about the terms and conditions which became defined more precisely after a good night's sleep!]

Also, I've now had confirmation that the Derwent Art Prize (for pencil art) is not running this year (regular readers may remember the controversy about the award of the prize last year) and will in future run on a biennial basis.

Which means that The Jerwood Drawing Prize is the premier prize for drawing this year.  
This open exhibition is a platform for drawing practitioners to showcase their work alongside other leading contemporary artists in this field, and provides those selected with the opportunity to help define a wider understanding of drawing for future generations. They will create an exhibition that explores and celebrates the diversity, excellence and range of current drawing practice in the UK.
To be honest, this prize always reeks to me of the academic and esoteric.  Last year an audio piece won the Jerwood Prize 2014 .

Alison Carlier was awarded the First Prize of £8,000 for her 1 minute 15 second audio work entitled ‘Adjectives, lines and marks’ which she describes as “An open-ended audio drawing, a spoken description of an unknown object”. See the BBC piece Jerwood Drawing Prize awarded to sound piece

Hopefully its judges will read its rules carefully before selecting artists and prizewinners - unlike those who judged the Derwent last year!

[NEW] EXCEPT the problem is that the rules say precisely nothing about what a drawing is - unlike the Derwent.

This is all the help you get. This statement (below) isn't even part of the General Information or Terms and Conditions which is a very odd way to run a competition. If you have no restrictions on how you define a drawing then this should be stated explicitly in amongst the information the judges are supposed to use as criteria for their judging.
No, we do not specify what media work should be in. The nature of the exhibition is to generate debate about contemporary drawing practice and therefore work in any media is eligible for entry, if the artist considers it as drawing. Whilst debate about contemporary drawing practice is encouraged, the decision of the Selection Panel is final and binding.
So bottom line this is a prize for drawing which refuses to define what a drawing might be.  

The only criteria is that the artist considers it to be a drawing.

If you like these sort of rules then this is the competition for you. Enter whatever you feel like so long as you consider it to be a drawing!

Jerwood Prize 2015

For those who are serious about entering whatever they consider to be a drawing, this is a summary of what you need to know:

Who can enter

  • the competition is open to all artists resident in the UK (ie overseas students at college here are eligible to enter; Brits living abroad are not)

What you can enter

  • Only work made since January 2014 is eligible for entry
  • All work submitted must be available from the date of submission in 2015 and for the duration of exhibition and tour in 2015-2016.
  • Artists may register to enter up to three drawings
  • Work should not exceed 2.5m in any dimension when framed.

How work must be presented

  • Composite drawings must be presented within one frame
  • Works that cannot be mirror plated must be accompanied by full installation instructions and if selected, the artist may be required to provide suitable fixings.
  • Frames MUST be durable for handling and hanging purposes throughout the selection process, exhibition and tour.
  • If work is unframed it should be packaged appropriately and robustly for transportation and storage throughout the exhibition and tour.
  • see the Rules and Guidelines for additional and more detailed instructions

How to enter

  • entry fees for students artists are reduced
  • the deadline for registering entries is 5pm on 26 June 2015
  • you must nominate submission and collection centre during registration and cannot change these afterwards
  • Once registered, artists are invited to submit their works through one of the regional collection centres.


Drawings are considered for inclusion in the exhibition by a panel of three selectors who represent the perspectives of practitioner, curator and writer all with expertise in the field of drawing. Each year the selection panel changes, and the resultant exhibitions reflect differing priorities and focus for each panel in response to the work submitted for their consideration. The selectors act as independent arbiters of the works presented, and are tasked to identify and choose drawings that represent their combined prerogatives and values in response to the submission. The panel first select the drawings for the exhibition, and then collectively choose the drawings that will receive the awards. 
Jerwood Prize 2014 Catalogue | Introduction
  • All artists will be informed by email of the Selection Panel's decision by Friday 17 July 2015.
  • I can't say I've heard of any of the 2015 selectors who are: 


The prizes on offer include a First Prize of £8,000, Second Prize of £5,000 and two Student Awards of £2,000 each.


The exhibition will comprise c. 70 works - from emerging and established artists - at the Jerwood Space, London from 16 September – 25 October 2015 and subsequently it will tour to venues across the UK.

Artwork can be sold and the artist's price should allow for 50% commission charged

Winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013
Apocalypse (My Boyfriend Doesn’t Care)
Ink on paper, 183 x 150cm
For further details and to register online please visit the Jerwood Drawing Prize Application Page where you will find
You can follow what's happening re. Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 on Twitter by using the hashtag #JDP15 or following @JerwoodJVA

For all enquiries please contact project managers, Parker Harris:
Tel: 01372 462190


John Simlett said...

Oh my Gawd! Think I might give it all a miss and maintain my anonymity.

Thanks for telling it as it is

Tina Mammoser said...

Quick warning: last year the entry rules indicated that works needed to be framed, though works to hang in other ways would be considered as long as they could take mirror plates and it was clear how to attach them. I submitted two of my drawing on unframed plywood (as they are intended to be displayed) as per the instructions. I had read the rules many times over and specifically prepared the pieces so mirror plates could be attached as Jerwood required. My entry/rejection form was marked that the pieces didn't meet the rules (can't remember the exact wording). I don't know if that was why they were rejected but obviously this was very upsetting to see!

So use any "exceptions" written at your own risk, it might say it's ok but I now question if those entries are treated with the same consideration.

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