My silverpoint drawing has been selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2018 and I’m very pleased about that!
The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize is the new incarnation of what was The Jerwood Drawing Prize. It’s the main, yearly, Contemporary Drawing exhibition and I see it as a kind annual survey of Contemporary Drawing practice in the UK. It is always worth seeing.
My drawing which has been selected is one of a growing body of work which ‘resurrects’ unknown people (unknown to me at least) from found photographs which were taken in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. All of the original images were found in a junk shop in Margate. I came across them all at different times and most of them seem to have been taken in different German towns.
‘Displaced Portrait no: 3 (young woman in carefully repaired image)’ is based on a photograph which had been torn in two and then very carefully glued back together again. This woman now has a kind of afterlife as an art object. What can we tell about a person from the way they appear to us? The fact that the photograph was damaged and then carefully repaired is intriguing.
My drawings are based on photographs but they are not simply copies of them. Details have been altered, tones have been modified, and each has been repeated scratched-away and redrawn and worked on over long periods of time to get to something which feels real to me.
I’m not quite sure what it is I am attempting to do with these drawings. I sort of know but I can’t really say beyond that it has something to do with our experience of time and of human presence.
I like to think of my drawings as moments of connection between moments in time. Drawings take time. Hand-drawn lines are traces of presence and of time, and of a mind engaged in the act of looking and thinking. Perhaps in drawing these people I am drawing ghosts.
The selectors for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2018 are the artist Nigel Hall RA, the art dealer Megan Piper and Chris Stephens, Director of the Holburne Museum in Bath.
The exhibition will open in September in London and will tour various galleries across the country for the best part of a year. Look out for it later in the year.
I presently have a solo exhibtion at the Young Gallery, Salisbury, which runs alongside the 20th century British figurative artists exhibition, curated by Peter Riley from the Arts Council Collection.