Many people assume drawing equals pencil plus paper, but every year the Jerwood Drawing Prize celebrates a greater diversity of artwork encapsulated by this genre, pushing the boundaries of what constitutes ‘drawing’.
This is typified by Beatriz Olabarietta’s video work. The artist tries to control two ball bearings with a marker pen in each hand. A torrent of energetic scrawls is the result. Neville Gabie drags a lump of chalk across the floor and wall to create white line drawings while iPad sketches and works made of steel frames also feature.
Fans of the ‘traditional’ approach to drawing will also be rewarded with skilled landscapes and cityscapes, including an eerie view across a bay by Kristian Fletcher.
One of the most eye-catching works is by Gary Lawrence, who uses gel and felt pens. It’s a giant amalgamation of religious iconography and modern technology depicted in bright orange. The work reveals more detail the longer you examine this surreal and manic composition.
Our favourite work is by Jolanta Rejs, who depicts a horse’s head created using blocks of grey and black simply shaded with pencil. It appears to be a naturalistic study but the title of the work, Apocalypse, gives away its true origins as one of the steeds from Albrecht Durer’s famous depiction of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
There are 76 works on display. Combined, they make for an entertaining and varied exhibition with works to suit most tastes. It’s also a rare opportunity to see some great examples of an often marginalised contemporary art genre.
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013 is on at Jerwood Space, 171 Union St, SE1 0LN until 27 October. Admission is free.