Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Two Drawing Awards: Winners & Future Exhibitions

This post is about
  • The Trinity Buoy Drawing Prize and highlights
    • its background
    • details about the 2023 Exhibition and Artists
    • the award winners in 2023 - plus as much as I can glean from what they've revealed about themselves online!
    • future exhibitions around the UK in 2024
  • the Biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award £10,000 - selected from artists exhibiting as part of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition.

First of all - mea culpa. I completely forgot to go down to Trinity Buoy Wharf (not the easiest of places to get to) for the exhibition of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.

The exhibition in London closed on Sunday but is now going on tour around the UK in 2024 to:
It's very sad that there's no online exhibition - which is almost standard practice for all art competitions these days. There is apparently a fully illustrated exhibition publication - although I'm not sure how people can get hold of this.

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

Basically this is a Drawing Prize created in 1994 by Professor Anita Taylor who is currently the Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee and Director of Drawing Projects UK.

Over the years, it has been known by various different names as she has been involved in founding and judging a drawing prizes using various different titles/names over a number of years with various sponsors and held in various places - while she moved around the country in various art academic roles. 

None of the prizes in previous incarnations continue to exist - and yet there's a notion they are all the same prize despite the names of different sponsors. It's not a notion that I've seen previously referenced but there's no doubt that the underlying continuity is essentially that one person invented the prize and is involved with them all.  I've never been quote able to understand why it's not called the Anita Taylor Drawing Prize plus the name of whoever is the current sponsor.  (A bit like the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize operated)

Apparently her listing of research output identifies a number of the drawing exhibitions as just that "non-textual research outputs" - which surprised me - and then it didn't.

I'm not a fan of this individual for a very specific reason relating to a different competition - which some of you may remember - but let's just leave it at that.

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2023

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize is supported by the Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust.

In 2023, there were
  • over 3,000 submissions
  • from 1,450 candidates
  • representing 40 countries.
123 drawings by 111 practitioners were shortlisted for inclusion in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2023 exhibition were selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2023 exhibition

The Awards in 2023 with a total value of £27,000 in 2023 - being in two parts:
  • £15,000 for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 
    • First Prize of £8,000,
    • Second Prize of £5,000,
    • Student Award of £2,000
  • Judged by:
    • Laura Hoptman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York;
    • Dennis Scholl AM, Collector, Arts Patron, President & CEO of Oolite Arts;
    • Barbara Walker MBE RA, British Artist (and first winner of the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award 2017)

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Prizewinners 2023

Interestingly, three of the four prizewinners drew buildings. The prizewinners were announced at a Launch and Awards Announcement on 28 September 2023

First Prize £8,000

Jeanette Barnes won the first Prize of £8,000.

Her drawing, as always, is a charcoal drawing of a buildings which is huge - as both subject and drawing - and is also associated with a major new development in London. In this instance the drawing is related to the development of the new Battersea Tube Station and the surrounding area.
Jeanette Barnes' award-winning work is a dizzyingly immersive and dynamic portrayal of Battersea's development in London, anchored by the new underground station. Battersea power station’s iconic chimneys only just edge into the picture, which focuses on the rise of newer buildings, and the ebb and flow of people. The work’s scale, 1.50 metres by 2.13 metres, invites viewers to step inside the drawing, feeling the vibrant and chaotic energy of the bustling city. The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Announces 2023 Winners

New Battersea Tube Station & Developments (2023) by Jeanette Barnes
Compressed charcoal on paper, 150 x 213cm.
Really enjoyed getting back to making large drawings in the studio, in particular the new Battersea Tube by Grimshaw architects flanked with developments by Foster + Partners, Gehry, Wilkinson Eyre/Scott.
Jeanette Barnes (about 2023 News on her website)
"This work is not about one moment in time, but more a history of the development. On location, I gather information from multiple viewpoints to make the resulting studio drawing slightly uncomfortable. The sketches that fed this image were made over many years, the sense of that evolution had to be accommodated within the final drawing, statements suggested and erased many times over. As much as the work documents the site itself, it also uses the movement of people and the energy of construction as a metaphor for urban experience and change. The development of the drawing isn’t preconceived, it’s much more of a journey of discoveries and losses than a straight line from beginning to end. Buildings jostle and compete for attention and space, as they always have done and always will do." Jeanette Barnes
I'm a big fan of Jeanette's work, not least because she is a faculty member of the (now) Royal Drawing School where she was one my drawing tutors at after I got back to art education following my early retirement. She was one of the two tutors with a very innovative course on "The Bigger Inner Space" (now called Drawing Space: Interior and Exterior) and I remember vividly how we went all over London drawing the interiors of absolutely enormous spaces.

She has also responded to any number of the major developments in London over the last 20+ years. Her urban drawings output includes drawings of:
  • The Cheesegrater in the City of London
  • the Cross Rail Station at Canary Wharf
  • Kings Cross Interior (2023)
  • British Museum Great Court
I remember her telling me once she is never more excited than when she spots a new tall crane on the horizon!

If you're interested in her drawing process and artwork, I can very much recommend her book City Sketching Reimagined: Ideas, exercises, inspiration (Batsford 2022) which was produced during lockdown with her husband Paul Brandford.  It's very much NOT an ordinary "how to draw" book and I think those who enjoy drawing the urban scene will find it very interesting.

Jeanette Barne's book City Sketching Reimagined
with an original drawing and its reproduction in her book

Second Prize £5,000

Tasha brought us Guinneps (2022) by Victoria Hunter McKenzie
charcoal, graphite on paper, 41 x 30.5cm

The second prize was won byVictoria Hunter McKenzie. (Facebook | Instagram). She was born in 1959 in New Haven, USA, is a graduate of Brown University, attended Parsons School of Design and is based in New York, New York. 

By day, she is a full-time computer-graphics artist and animator for ABC News and at night she lives and paints in the East Village with her husband and two daughters and two cats. She earned an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design for her work on the first season of PrimeTime Live.

Below are a couple of interesting articles about the first time her drawings came to the attention of the wider public and media. She's still creating oil paintings on the back of transit cards!


Student Award £2,000

El Kobri Maadi (2023) by Peter Blodau
charcoal on paper, 60 x 40cm.

The £2,000 Student Award was won by Peter Blodau, @blodaupeter for his drawing of a cityscape in Egypt.
  • Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1967, to parents who were both artists, Peter Blodau moved to Ireland as a child and studied Fine Art Printmaking in Limerick.
  • He started his professional life as an artist in Paris, where he made drawings and paintings on the streets of the city.
  • He went on to travel back to Berlin, then Greece, Cuba, the United States, Italy, England, and Egypt.
  • In 2014, he moved to Cairo to lecture Drawing and Illustration at the German University in Cairo.
  • Today, he lives, studies and works in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK.
He has recently completed a Masters Degree (with Distinction) at the Arts University Plymouth. There he undertook a research into the potential for a participatory approach to reportage drawing.

Working Drawing Award £2,000

Reconstituted planes - The Barcelona Pavilion Reimagined 1 and 2, 2023
a digital drawing, 59 x 42cm, a
nd a drawing made with a technical pencil on tracing paper, 84 x 59cm

The Working Drawing Award of £2,000 was won by Ade Olaosebikan, @sketchistco for The Barcelona Pavilion Reimagined - an architectural drawing which unpicks the planes of this very famous building. One is a digital drawing and the second is a drawing conventionally made with a technical pencil on tracing paper

He's an Architectural Designer who works for Studio Hive at their studio in Clifton.


Special Commendations were also awarded in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2023, to
  • Sarah Knill-Jones, for Skull I, 2022, charcoal & acrylic on newsprint, and
  • Samuel Owusu Achiaw, Looking, 2022, charcoal, graphite and carbon on paper; and to
  • Lisa Marie Gibbs (in the Working Drawing Award category) for Nang’s garden, 2022, pencil and pressed rose on found graph paper.

Biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award (2023) £10,000

The aim of the biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award, worth £10,000
is to:
  • support an artist selected for the exhibition who has an existing track record 
  • who has an appropriate proposal for a solo exhibition or presentation at Hastings Contemporary.
There have been three previous awards in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The winner of the first Award judged this year's Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.

The Fourth Evelyn Williams Drawing Award was judged and the winner selected by
  • Nicholas Usherwood, Chair of Trustees of the Evelyn Williams Trust,
  • Leah Cross, Director of Programmes and Liz Gilmore, Director of Hastings Contemporary, and
  • Anita Taylor, Director of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize
The Winner in 2023 is Isabel Rock for her exhibition proposal to be developed from her drawing 

Our Cell (2022) by Isabel Rock
biro on paper, 43 x 53cm
Artist Isabel Rock, born in London in 1981, received this prestigious biennial award on the basis of her proposal to develop a body of work that depicts an imaginative, surreal vision of the world after climate breakdown has wreaked its havoc. Her recent drawings have a strong narrative looking at systems of commerce, power structures, the complexities of desire, objects of value, the fallibility of human nature and the enterprising charm of human endeavour. 
Her drawing selected for the exhibition, Our Cell, is a biro drawing on paper offering a glimpse into her month-long stay in HMP Bronzefields in November 2022, when her participation in the Just Stop Oil protests to raise awareness of climate emergency led to her being arrested and incarcerated for a month in prison.

It reminds me somewhat of a couple of other exhibitions
I'm left wondering whether the reconstruction of the cell will be done with the drawings done while occupying the cell or whether there will be some attempt to capture its actual physicality. We shall see in due course.

I do however "get" why it appealed to Judges being something which is
  • very much captured in her drawing
  • related very much to the moment
  • relatable to young people - because of the nature of the protest and incarceration
  • follows in a tradition of women recreating their life in a room.
Isabel Rock was born in Hammersmith, London in 1981. She studied Fine Art Printmaking at The University of Brighton, graduating with First Class Honours in 2004. She also studied for a Masters Degree (printmaking and drawing) at The Royal College of Art in London and graduated in 2008. She won the £10,000 Arts Foundation Printmaking Fellowship in 2013. She now works on large scale collages "restricted only by the height of the ceiling".

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