Monday, September 18, 2017

Gary Lawrence wins Jerwood Drawing Prize - for the second time

Gary Lawrence has won the £8,000 First Prize in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017. It's the second time he's won First Prize. He also won in 2011

Last time he won with a very complex 6ft by 4ft drawing called Homage to Anonymous - as a tribute to unknown artists. He produced a simple view of Pothea reflecting on his holiday to the principal town on the Greek island of Kalymnos
using a packet of ten Tesco Value budget pens which he used to ink his images onto the reverse side of old Woolworths advertising posters.Hard-up artist bags £6,000 prize after using 3p biro to create stunning landscape | Daily Mail
This time he's won by producing an equally large drawing - also of the town of Pothea on Kalymnos. This time he's used poster paint (I assume that's the yellow background) and felt pens.

The fridge magnet reference relates to the two boards of bridge magnets with "scenes from Greece" on them which are then reproduced in little 'thought' bubbles on the edge of the paper. Each is accompanied by a comment from the artist – ‘Athens – never been here’, ‘Cyprus ‘08 ok-ish’, ‘Zante Town – Euro Spar’.

It reminds me of some of the drawings produced in the past which used to illustrate a journey with small drawings around the edge showing scenes from the route.  Quite why it should be yellow is not explained.

Winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017
Gary Lawrence, Yellow Kalymnos with Fridge Magnets, 2017.
Felt pen and poster paint on canvas, 250 x 249cm. Photo: Colin Mills
The artist is from Wethersfield, Essex and was also shortlisted for the Derwent Art Prize 2015.

One of the panel of selectors, Michael Simpson, comments on the drawing as follows
“a brilliant evocation of a time capsule; of time squashed in on itself as a topographical romance in retrospect.”
While the drawing is an undoubted complex piece of work, I'm not quite sure how awarding the First Prize to somebody for the second time when the aim the Jerwood Drawing Prize is
promoting and celebrating the breadth of contemporary drawing practice
On the whole I prefer prestigious prizes which you're allowed to win once. My reasons are as follows:
  • Such a rule means that the benefit of the prize, not to mention the prize money, is spread amongst the widest pool of deserving artists. Ultimately that means it has the scope to enhance the careers of more artists - and that's no bad thing.
  • If you allow a prize to be won for a second time, then you begin to entertain scope for 
    • the "Ant & Dec" problem (entertainers who have won the "most popular entertainment programme in the National Television Awards every year but one going back to 2003)
    • accusations of favouritism
Nothing to stop other artists winning the other prizes more than once - but for me the rule of "win and that's it" for First Prize has a cogent rationale in the context of competitions generally and the aims of this one in particular.

Other Prizewinners

Evelyn Williams Drawing Award (£10,000) 

The final selection was made by
  • Elizabeth Gilmore, Director, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; 
  • Anita Taylor, founding Director, Jerwood Drawing Prize, and 
  • Nicholas Usherwood, Art Critic and Curator and trustee of the Evelyn Williams Trust.

Barbara Walker won this new prize - which incidentally has the most prize money.  (Is this the new name of next year's drawing award given this is the last year of Jerwood Sponsorship?)

She's a very impressive artist with an outstanding portfolio of 'proper' drawings. 

Her figurative drawings explore race identity, belonging, class and power.  This drawing comes from her Shock and Awe series of drawings about the contribution of Black servicemen and women to the British Armed Forces and war efforts from 1914 to the present day. It includes embossed lines to represent the non-Black service personnel.

She's currently exhibiting in the Diaspora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. (see my blog post
Khadija Saye and 'The Venice Biennale: Britain's New Voices' on BBC2 which includes my comments on her drawings for this exhibition.)

Winner of the £10,000 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award
Barbara Walker, Exotic Detail In The Margin#2,

Graphite on embossed paper, 52 x 61cm. Photo: Colin Mills

Other Jerwood Drawing Prize Awards

The 2017 selectors for the Jerwood Drawing Prize Awards were:
  • Dr David Dibosa, writer, researcher and Reader in Museology at the University of the Arts London, (seen earlier this year on BBC1's The Big Painting Challenge
  • Helen Legg, Director of Spike Island and 
  • Michael Simpson who is a British painter. Simpson has had major solo shows at the Serpentine, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, and BlainSouthern, and in 2016 won the John Moores Painting Prize for his painting Squint.

Jerwood Second Prize (£5,000)
Ana Mendes, On Drawing, (2016).

Video, 9m 53s [still illustrated]

    This video film encourages viewers to consider the relationship between thinking and drawing and the utilisation of drawing as a tool for everyday life.

    It comprises an interview with Mina Pegourie, a housemaid the artist met during a residency in France. Pegourie cannot read or write and discusses how she’s used drawing to navigate her way through life. She says
    “when someone gives me their phone number, I draw something to remind me.” 
    Two Student Awards (£2,000 each) 

    Student Award
    Jade Montserrat, No Need For Clothing, 2017.

    Documentary photograph, Jacquetta Clark, 38 x 30.2cm. Photograph: Colin Mills

    Having taken a look at her website, a lot of Jade Montserrat's artwork seems to involve photographs or videos of her taking her kit off and gyrating around. What this has to do with drawing is completely beyond me. To me it's performance art - and the drawing appears to be completely incidental.

    Student Award
    Dejan Mrdja
    , Chasing Synchrony 2.0, 2017.
    Charcoal, chalk, brush, ice-pick on board, video, 4m [still illustrated]

    Dejan Mrdja graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at University of Belgrade. He has been working in the UK since 2007 for a number of pioneering British practices. Dejan is a course leader at Interior Architecture and Design course at Writtle University in Essex. His research interests are art installations, photography and drawing and is currently pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins.

    Of the selection process, Michael Simpson said:
    “I found the whole experience of taking part in the judging of the Jerwood Drawing Prize so engrossing that when we finally came to the end of day two, I felt disappointed it was over. Looking at art is one of the great pleasures of life and to examine almost three thousand drawings in such a short intense period of time became, in the best sense, a demandingly rigorous exercise in critical appraisal. The diversity was astonishing, wide ranging and rich; when you see so much variation in human endeavour, you know anything is possible on a predominately flat simple surface. Ruskin’s book, The Elements of Drawing with its rigidly archaic instructions to students kept filtering into my mind.” Michael Simpson, Artist and 2017 Selector

    The exhibition

    69 works by 65 artists (see below) have been selected for The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017 exhibition can be seen in London prior to a national tour (details below)

    • Dates: 13 September–22 October 2017
    • Address: Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN 
    • Opening Times: Mon–Fri from 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun from 10am–3pm Admission: Free
    • Nearest Tube: Southwark, London Bridge or Borough 
    • Website: www.jerwoodvisualarts.orgTwitter: #JDP17 @JerwoodJVA
    National Tour
    • East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts (14 November 2017 – 6 January 2018), 
    • The Edge, University of Bath (10 February – 31 March 2018) 
    • Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury (12 April – 6 May 2018)
    • Vane Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne (26 May – 28 July 2018) and 
    • Drawing Projects UK (17 August – 6 October 2018).

    Selected Artists

    The selected artists are:

    • David Ainley
    • Elisa Alaluusua
    • Pam Aldridge
    • Becky Allen
    • Kate Aspinall
    • Adam Bainbridge
    • Andy Bannister
    • Helen Barff
    • Dail Behennah
    • Kelly Best
    • Kate Black
    • Alice Blackstock
    • Abigail Booth
    • Becky Brewis
    • Lucinda Burgess
    • Eric Butcher
    • Stephen Carter
    • Ian Chamberlain
    • Lewis Chamberlain
    • Dean Claydon
    • Susannah Douglas
    • Dickon Drury
    • Richard Ducker
    • Jim Dunkley
    • James Fowkes
    • Nigel Frost
    • Christopher Fry
    • Lesley Hicks
    • Jim Hobbs
    • Marianne Holm Hansen
    • Caroline Holt-Wilson
    • Susie Howarth
    • Ronnie Hughes
    • Jeremy Hutchison
    • Julia Hutton
    • Jonathan Huxley
    • Alexander Johnson
    • Ben Johnson
    • Will Kippax
    • Jason Lane
    • Gary Lawrence
    • Carali McCall
    • Grace McMurray
    • Tahira Mandarino
    • Ana Mendes
    • Jasone Miranda-Bilbao
    • Jade Montserrat
    • Dejan Mrdja
    • David Murphy
    • Susan Petticrew
    • Helen Rawlinson
    • Giulia Ricci
    • Fiona G Roberts
    • Caragh Savage
    • Carly Seller
    • Tom Sewell
    • Laurie Steen
    • Rebecca Swindell
    • David Symonds
    • Sally Taylor

    • Ben Wade
    • Barbara Walker
    • Eleanor Wood
    • Sally Wood
    • Andrea V Wright

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