September 13, 2016

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 winners announced

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“The selected works for Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 represent a plethora of different idioms and ideas by artists at all stages of their careers, from those at the starting block to the very distinguished. It is remarkable then that, once more, all award winners are connected to current or future education and study.  Their works are confident and lively examples of drawing today, fresh in outlook and conception; unafraid to source, mine and examine the historic, spiritual, and visceral imagination through the act of drawing.” Professor Anita Taylor, Director Jerwood Drawing Prize & Dean of Bath School of Art and Design.

The prestigious First Prize of £8,000 has been awarded to Solveig Settemsdal (b.1984) for her video Singularity, which offers an almost sculptural digital rendering of the transformative and fluid drawing process.

Settemsdal, a Norwegian artist based at Spike Island in Bristol, graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2010 and has since been working between sculpture and photography. Settemsdal says of her winning work: “Singularity explores a temporal and sculptural process of drawing in a fluid three-dimensional space through the suspension of ink in cubes of gelatine. In constant transformation, the white mineral ink and the biological gelatine lattice initiate a balance between conscious intention and material process.”

The Second Prize of £5,000 is awarded to Anna Sofie Jespersen (b.1992) for her ball pen on tracing paper work, Sid in Bathtub. Jespersen, a Danish artist, living and working in London, is currently studying for a Fine Art Degree at Chelsea College of Art. Her prizewinning drawing, which depicts a man lying, fully clothed and smoking, in a bath, is a poetic and tragic work intricate in line and tonality. Jespersen writes of her subject “As I was falling in love with you, you would slowly sink into the parallel dimension where you would become heavy and dense, and slide effortlessly into the void.”

Two Student Awards of £2,000 each are awarded to Jade Chorkularb (b. 1971) and Amelie Barnathan (b. 1991). Jade Chorkularb, born in Thailand, now lives and works in London. Holding an MSc in Interactive Multimedia, she is a conceptual artist working in diverse media. Her winning work, That What They Would Do, is a beautifully simple and empathetic video of real-time drawing set over interviews asking people what they would do if they only had an hour left to live. A practicing Buddhist, Chorkularb says of the work, “There are various methods (e.g. prayer, meditation, working on our mind) that will enable us to overcome fear, attachment and other emotions that could arise at the time of death and cause our mind to be disturbed, unpeaceful, and even negative. Preparing for death will enable us to die peacefully, with a clear, positive state of mind.”

Amelie Barnathan, studying for her MA in Visual Communication at the RCA, is an Italian-French illustrator living and working in London. Her large-scale, visceral, surreal, and confrontational drawings traverse the historical and mythical through renderings of dreams and nightmares. The intricate and overlaid narratives that unfold within her work “evoke the ecstatic rituals of the Maenads madwoman of Ancient Greece [and the] processions and Sabbaths of the witches of the Middle Ages.”

A total of 61 works by 55 artists were carefully selected for exhibition by the panel: Glenn Brown, artist; Stephanie Buck, Director, Kupferstich-Kabinett at Staatliche Kunstammlungen Dresden; and Paul Hobson, Director, Modern Art Oxford. The specialist panel saw 2,537 works submitted by 1,408 entrants over a two-day period. The selected artworks, and prizes, represent the selectors’ diversity of understandings and varied insights into contemporary drawing.

The winning artworks will be on display at Jerwood Space, London from 14 September – 23 October 2016, followed by a tour to venues across the UK, including The Edge, Bath (4 November  – 16 December 2016), Turnpike Arts Centre, Leigh (14 January – 12 March 2017), and The Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth (30 March – 29 April 2017).

Jerwood Drawing Prize is the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK. Supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation through its programme of awards, exhibitions and events, Jerwood Visual Arts, Jerwood Drawing Prize is a unique initiative led by founding Director, Professor Anita Taylor (Dean of Bath School of Art & Design at Bath Spa University). The Prize is committed to championing excellence, and to promoting and celebrating the breadth of contemporary drawing practice, this year including hand drawn, digital and three-dimensional works. In offering emerging, mid-career and established artists a national platform to exhibit their work, the exhibition has established a reputation for developing new insights into the role and value of drawing in artistic practice today.

Work by Amelie Barnathan. Image: courtesy Jerwood Visual Arts