Selected from original drawings presented for consideration without any information about artist or title, the Jerwood Drawing Prize has established a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence, and to promoting and celebrating the breadth of contemporary drawing practice within the UK.
“It is fascinating that, not for the first time, all four prizewinners of Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 are current, recent – or about to become – students, albeit at very different stages of their careers and development. The commitment and endeavor of artists and designers, emerging and mature, to use drawing as a vital means of creativity and as a means to explore and understand the world anew is significant. The award winners deploy drawing in various forms to both document and to question our perceptions.” Professor Anita Taylor, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize project.
The prestigious First Prize of £8,000 has been awarded to Tom Harrison (b.1982) for his delicate pencil drawing entitled From Andrew’s Flat, Singapore, which depicts a view of the city.
Tom is about to start his first year at the Royal Drawing School in London. He comments:
“During a recent trip to Singapore I was highly stimulated by the lush green jungle offset against the lines of the architecture. My initial pull for the drawing was seeing all of this from an elevated position; an abstract pattern of the buildings jostling for space with the jungle becoming even more apparent.”
The Second Prize of £5,000 is awarded to Elisa Alaluusua (b.1970) for her 7-minute video, Unconditional Line. Elisa was born in Finland and now lives and works in London. She completed MA degrees at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Lapland before commencing a PhD with the University of the Arts London. Her prizewinning video drawing, which depicts the take-off and landing of a flight, “explores a line across the skies and recreates it on screen. This particular trip belongs to a continuum of invisible lines drawn between London and Luusua in Finnish Lapland. The lines on the ground speak their own foreign language of order and safety that should not be compromised. The video is a reminder of the experiences of our own journeys.”
Two Student Awards of £2,000 each are awarded to Bryan Eccleshall (b.1965) and Lois Langmead (b.1992).
Bryan lives in Worksop and is currently completing a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University. His pencil on paper drawing is entitled After Joseph Beuys’ ‘Wirtshaftswerte’. He comments: “I make drawings of art works by others. This was made after ‘Wirtschaftswerte’ was shown at the Graves Art Gallery during Art Sheffield 2013.”
Born in Canada, Lois grew up in Leicestershire and now lives and works in Glasgow. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art this summer. Her prize-winning artwork Pelvis is made up of 8 spools of thread and is “a contemporary reaction to the depiction of women’s bodies as ‘weak’ throughout historical medical texts”. She explains: “The pelvis is a symbol to remind us of the strength of women’s bodies.”
A total of 60 works by 58 artists, including one collaboration, have been carefully selected for exhibition by the distinguished panel; Dexter Dalwood, artist; Salima Hashmi, artist, curator and writer; and John-Paul Stonard, art historian. The panel, who represent the perspectives of practitioner, curator and writer, saw 3072 works submitted by 1592 entrants over a two-day period. Of these submissions 515 were by 264 applicants qualifying as students. The selected artworks, and prizes, represent their focus and response to the work presented for consideration.
The winning artworks will be on display at Jerwood Space, London from 16 September – 25 October 2015, followed by a tour to venues across the UK, including Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum: The Wilson (21 November 2015 – 31 January 2016), Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury (11 February – 9 April 2016), and Falmouth Art Gallery (23 April – 25 June 2016).
Now in its 21st year, the Jerwood Drawing Prize is known for being the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK. It provides a platform to showcase the work of drawing practitioners, from student to established, and as a project helps to define a wider understanding of the role and value of drawing in creative practice. The longevity of the Prize, which has been running since 1994, is a testament to the appetite of the artists who make drawings, and the continued interest of audiences visiting the exhibition, making it one of the most popular shows in the Jerwood Visual Arts programme.
Jerwood Drawing Prize is a joint initiative, led by Professor Anita Taylor, Dean of Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation through its contemporary gallery programme Jerwood Visual Arts in London and on tour nationally. The 20th anniversary of the Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition was celebrated in 2014, with this year marking another milestone; Jerwood Charitable Foundation has now been supporting the Prize for 15 years.