drawing breath: 10 years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize

For once, I am at peace with the context and content of the traveling exhibition “drawing breath”. The title relates to the energy and excitement the possibilities that drawing holds, and the range of possibilities that drawing presents to any artist. The over 90 works presented a strong and meticulous survey of the exploratory nature of drawing, as well as an art form on par with oil painting. Drawing, at the root of any artistic production is necessary. It remains the sanctity of creative processes to the visual person, often being the first contact between an idea and fruition.

From the educator’s perspective, drawing lies in the precarious position of introducing ‘art’ to a child. Drawing constitutes a child’s first experience with art making. It entertains, animates and stirs imaginations of the young.

Pablo Picasso once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. Everybody was once a child. Taking the quote further, we stop being artists when we stop drawing. To continue to be creative individuals, we have to continue to indulge in in creating; drawing, in its various guises and degrees of finish.

The finishing, hanging and body of work is impressive, perhaps even superseding that of the local withdrawing exhibition in 2006, also at the NAFA galleries. For those who have seen this exhibition, and I do wish more art students could have seen this if not for the school holidays, would have found this more than a breath of fresh air to our visual understanding of drawing.

7.0 of 10 stars, more if only it was better timed, and had better supporting educational activities

NAFA galleries 1&2
Dec 1 – 21, 2007

Other link and review of the same travelling exhibition:
Wimbledon College of Art exhibition listing, 2006
John McDonald’s review in The Sydney Morning Herald, March 17, 2007

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