Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017

I finally managed to see Jerwood Drawing Prize when it came to Bath’s The Edge from Jerwood Space in London (why Bath University has this big exhibition space and the artish Bath Spa University doesn’t have anything, is a completely different subject….).

Don’t forget the Prize was a big part of my dissertation, therefore it was nice to finally see the selected artworks in person.

Here are a bit of insights of what it actually is:

Professor Anita Taylor, Dean of Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University set up Jerwood Drawing Prize in 1994. As a founding Director, she developed a concept and conceived the whole process. Now she appoints the selection panels, raises the funds, writes and edits an introduction for catalogues and. Furthermore, she devises the Jerwood Drawing Prize education programmes, delivers numerous talks and conference papers and sustains relationships with selected and unselected artists.

The original concept for creating this exhibition was the debate around value, status and representation of drawing as an art form in the early 1990s. The idea originated within an art school, where research around the subject provided an instant setting for discussions about contemporary drawing. This dialogue has been continuing for twenty-three years through an annual exhibition and associated educational events (Harris, 2014).

Through the years, the Jerwood Drawing Prize has established a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence and promoting and celebrating the range of contemporary drawing practice within the UK. This open exhibition is a platform for drawing practitioners to display their work alongside other leading contemporary artists in the field, and provides those selected with the opportunity to help promote a wider understanding of drawing for future generations (Jerwood Visual Arts, 2017b).

Each year the submissions to the open call are increasing, reflecting a growing national interest in the role of drawing, which lies at the heart of many art forms. Additionally, the exhibition opens fundamental questions about the purpose, relevance, value and nature of drawing (Cork, 2001). In 2017, Dr David Dibosa, writer, researcher and Reader in Museology at the University of the Arts London, Helen Legg, Director of Spike Island and Michael Simpson, artist, selected 65 artists from 2811 submissions. And I can say they did good. The selected artworks really put the concept of drawing as we know it under question and open many discussions on what is going on in the art world.

So, if you have time, I definitely suggest you climb up the hill and feast your eyes on the art, before it travels to Canterbury Christchurch University and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Cork, R. (2001) The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2001. Exhibition held at Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education, Cheltenham, 3rd – 28th September 2001; The Prince’s Foundation, London, 5th – 26th October 2001; University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, Hull, 12th November – 14th December 2001 [Exhibition catalogue].
Harris, P. and Taylor, A. (ed.) (2014) Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014. Exhibition held at Jerwood Space, London, 17th September – 26th October 2014; Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham, 22nd November – 4th January 2015; The Tetley, Leeds, 16th January – 1st March 2015; The Arts University at Bournemouth, Poole, 13th March – 23rd April 2015; The Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Devon, 9th May – 12th June 2015 [Exhibition catalogue].
Jerwood Visual Arts (2017b) Jerwood Drawing Prize. Available at: (Accessed: 7 July 2017).



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