Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Drawing Year - end of year exhibition

...otherwise known as the The Drawing Year 2015—16 Postgraduate Programme end of year exhibition is now on
at: the Royal Drawing School Shoreditch
until: Tuesday 17 January 2017 (Monday to Friday 9am—9pm)

It opened on Friday and includes over 300 works by the MA level postgraduate students.

It's always worth taking note of what The Drawing Year students are up to as many of them go on to feature prominently in the "selected artists" lists I post on this blog in relation to prestigious national art competitions from time to time - and some of them win the big prizes!

The Best of The Drawing Year
Drawings by Matthew Booker, Emma Inge and Eleanor Watson
It's also a good indication of the nature of contemporary drawing - the nature of which might surprise those who favour the photorealistic version of drawing.

The Drawing Year

The Drawing Year is a one year postgraduate level course run by The Royal Drawing School founded by HRH Prince of Wales (and previously known as the Princes Drawing School).
The place to learn to draw. Drawing is a primary language. It is a crucial route to innovation across the creative disciplines and beyond, from fashion, fine art and animation to filmmaking, product design and engineering.
Important features of the Drawing Year are:
  • post-graduate MA level 
  • full-time
  • bursary/scholarship approach i.e. no fees
  • free studio space
  • one year - three terms of 10 weeks each
  • Students are expected to attend:
    • a minimum of two taught full days a week at classes
    • Wednesday evening forum, lecture series and 
    • personal studio practice days.
The Drawing Year is a full scholarship MA-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one academic year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space.
Find out below how to learn more about the course and how to apply for a place.

The Drawing Year postgraduates 

Those taking part in this exhibition are as follows.

I was rather surprised at the extent to which students didn't have websites and/or have done little to make themselves easily found on Google.
  • Euphrosyne Andrews
  • Daniel Blumberg
  • Matthew Booker
  • India Boxall, 
  • Becky Brewis Becky graduated from Oxford University of Oxford in 2010 with a degree in English (2.1) and then spent a delayed postgraduate year at the Royal Drawing School doing The Drawing Year (MA-level bursary) September 2015-December 2016 (Twitter)
  • Grace Exley Prior to the Royal Drawing School, she studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. This is a podcast about her drawings.
  • Oscar Farmer
  • Aisha Farr - studied English and Ancient Greek at the University of St Andrews and UCL prior to The Drawing Year.
  • Holly Froy
  • Shanti-Om Gorton - graduated from Brighton University with a BA Fine Art Painting
  • Thomas Harrison - While a student on the Drawing Year, Tom Harrison had a drawing of a view from a flat selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015. He then went on to win the £8,000 First Prize.  This is a blog post about that achievement - Below are two more views of the view of scaffolding from a flat.
Pencil drawings by Tom Harrison
From Claude's flat II £1,580
From Claude's flat I £1,694
  • Emma Inge - studied and then graduated with BA Fine Art from Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University.
  • Pollyanna Johnson - graduated from Chelsea College of Arts in 2015 with a BA Fine Art after studying for Foundation Diploma at Camberwell College of Art & Design (2011-12). Her work reminds me of the paintings of Andrew Wyeth. (Facebook)
Using Rural England as her stage Pollyanna Johnson strives to create an atmosphere of unsettling silence, in which we get a sense of something just happened, as if of a memory we cannot quite reach.
Girl by Pollyanna Johnson
Graphite on paper | 117 x 74 cm
More drawings in graphite and charcoal by Pollyanna Johnson
(left) Tree £954
(Right) Be still £500
Red Square by Samuel Little
Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper | 173 x 91.6 cm
  • Samuel Little - Sam was very clear that drawing is fundamental to his practice as an architect. One of his drawings was this year selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize Exhibition 2016.  (see article discussing his work) Sam was born in Manchester but is now living and working in London. Prior to the Drawing School he graduated with a BA Architecture (1st Class) from the The Cass Faculty of Art Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. (2011 - 2014) and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (With Distinction)at Hereford College of Arts (2009-2010).  
As an artist I aim to continually produce an autonomous body of self-initiated work running parallel to work in architecture. The act of drawing is fundamental to this practice.
  • Samantha Marshall-Lockyer
  • Jack Mcdonagh
  • Alexander Middleton - graduated from Brighton BA Hons Fine Art Painting
  • Isaac Neviazsky
  • Sacha Pratt - graduated from Brighton BA Hons Fine Art Painting
  • Iona Robertsgraduated from Edinburgh University with a BA Hons. (1st class) in Fine Art Painting 
  • Beau Rouse
  • Anna Rumsby
  • Anna Tveritinov
  • Liam Walker - I particularly liked the fact that Bradford-born Liam Walker introduces narrative into his drawings of observed relationships. I've lamented on this blog before now that people are often portrayed as static and not part of life or an event.  Liam Studied at Studied at Leeds College of Art & Design and Edinburgh College of Art  prior to the Royal Drawing School. I like his style, I like his drawings and I like his thoughtful approach to his work. I predict he will do well.
Drawings by Liam Walker - exhibited in The best of the Drawing Year Show at Christies
(left) Alec on Ilkley Moor (Pencil on paper | 29.5 x 42 cm)
(middle) A Love Scene from the North (Pencil on paper | 48 x 57 cm)
(right) The Deal Pencil on paper | 25 x 33.5 cm

  • Chris Wallbank - a visual artist with a particular interest in working from direct observation of landscapes and wildlife; rural and urban. He's received two bursaries from the Society of Wildlife Artists in the past and was elected a full member this year.  This is his Drawings Blog. I remember talking to him about his fascinating drawings of a Loomery at the SWLA exhibition in 2015.  See Review: Society of Wildlife Artist's 52nd Annual Exhibition (2015)
  • Eleanor Watson - graduated in 2012 from Wimbledon College of Art with a BA Fine Art Painting (First Class Honours) following her Foundation Diploma Year in Art & Design at Chelsea College of Art (2008-9)
  • Qiong Wu - Her Drawing Year follows on from an MA Visual Communication – Illustration at Camberwell College of Art; a BA(Hons) Illustration from the University for the Creative Arts in Kent and a BA Interior Design from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China (Instagram)

The Best of the Drawing Year Exhibition at Christies

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At the end of November I went along to Christies to see an exhibition by "The Best of the Drawing Year" students (now participating in the above exhibition) and some of the alumni - notably those who have won prestigious prizes.  Click the link to see the images exhibited in that show.
The exhibition ran from Nov. 18, 2016 – Nov. 23, 2016 at Christies in King Street Gallery.

Distinguished alumni

(Left) Study for Girl in a Liberty Dress (pencil) by Clara Drummond £8,000 (sold)
(Right) A Tropical Flurry (watercolour) by Kathryn Maple £1,000
The Christies exhibition included drawings by previous alumni of the course. These include:
Kathryn Maple with her painting in her usual calligraphic style

Would you like to get a place on The Drawing Year in 2017?

The next course of The Drawing Year starts in September 2017. You can book onto Drawing Year Open Days using this form for dates in 2017
  • Tuesday 17 January 2017 at 6.30pm, 
  • Thursday 9 February 2017 at 2pm,
  • Tuesday 28 February 2017 at 2pm, 
  • Thursday 9 March 2017 at 2pm.

If you're successful, you too could find yourself shaking hands with the Prince of Wales!

HRH Prince of Wales meets Clara Drummond, Drawing Year alumni
and winner of the BP Portrait Award 2016

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