In Pictures: Drawing(Paper)Show 2023 – Curators’ Picks

Matthew Timmins-Williams_web

“We feel that mark-making is intrinsic to the human condition.” Celebrating contemporary drawing in its many forms from artists both local and global, co-curators of the Drawing(Paper)Show select some of their favourite pieces featuring in a new exhibition and publication…

Colette Lilley and Sarah Jane Richards

Drawing holds a special place in people’s hearts. From professional artists to those who claim not to be able to draw and everyone in between, we feel this connection to mark-making is intrinsic to the human condition and hope that perhaps such exhibitions connect us all back to the thrill of drawing as a child.

Jon Barraclough

We are very happy that, after a gap of some years, the Drawing Paper [an initiative from Liverpool-based artists Jon Barraclough and Mike Carney] is making such an auspicious return. Initially published in May 2010 as a free newspaper about our love of drawing, this is a special edition because it forms the catalogue for Drawing(Paper)Show and, as ever, celebrates contemporary drawing in many diverse forms.

“The number and quality of drawings submitted was spectacular”

It has been an engrossing and exciting journey from our first conversations about collaborating with Colette Lilley and Sarah Jane Richards. The idea of doing both an exhibition and a publication would not have happened without their invention, experience and expertise. The number and quality of drawings in response to the open call was spectacular and presented us with the unique challenge of selecting the work that would appear in the paper and the exhibition. Not an easy task. Those whose work wasn’t included shouldn’t feel overlooked. We could have easily produced two or three Drawing Papers without any drop in quality.

Colette Lilley’s Picks:

Matthew Timmins-Williams A Study of Californian Light (2022), Graphite, 29.7 x 21cm, top

I love this image because it shows the beauty in the everyday. The softness of the marks, the variation of tones and the attention to detail make this drawing remarkable. What really makes this drawing striking to me is the use of tone. The tonal contrasts are incredible, the darks are deep and the light feels bright. It shows the care and consideration the artist put into this image. Seeing and mastering tonal contrast can be hard to achieve, this is an exceptional example of tonal contrast.

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Curtis Holder Pink Butterfly (2023), Graphite, coloured pencil and acrylic gouache on paper, 120 x 70cm, above

I find Curtis’ portrait to be beautifully haunting. It feels like it captures the person in a moment. Almost an echo. This resonance is achieved  with the use of expressive loose marks. This is emphasized by the use and contrast of colour. Each time I look at Curtis’ portrait I am drawn into looking more and more each time finding something new.

Alex Wolkowicz - Signal copy_web

Jon Barraclough’s Picks:

Alex Wolkowicz Signal 2022, Graphite on paper, 56 x 76cm, above

Signal 2022 is both moment and gesture captured, like a photograph (and utilising the tone and colour of a photograph) but with nothing strictly representational to get hold of. This drawing is both still and moving and I marvel at the contrast between its apparent glibness and the illusionary 3 dimensional detail that closer inspection reveals. A throwaway sensation and a precious outcome. I want to reference Lichtenstein whose pop art brushstrokes acted like signals to usher in a different attitude towards painting – but Wolkowicz’s signal is from another timeless place altogether. It’s a sign from the deepest primordial past or a cypher from a language that I can’t understand – but want to learn. It is also an homage to materiality – like a sculpture made from graphite hanging in space exploring near and far and slow and fast all at the same time. A further look into Wolkowicz’s work reveals that this work is a part of an ensemble of gestures and objects that move from 2D to 3D forms (like theatrical props) although each part can be removed form the rest and seen, as this image can, in its own different light.

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Anna Hutton Wildling IV (2023), Charcoal on Fabriano HP 640gsm, 15 x 14cm, above

Wilding IV is for me moody, atmospheric and beguiling. It’s both an hour-late afternoon in winter or a summer first light of day and provides the viewer with lots of possible interpretations – despite being clearly a landscape work. I enjoy the process of thinking and assimilating that’s needed to take in this image and every time I revisit there’s another possible place and mood to be found. The granular texture puts me in mind of a grainy, high contrast, monochrome photograph or an aggressively inked aquatint etching. It’s in many ways pointillist and has a suggestion of the background areas of early drawings by Georges Seurat – except Hutton gives us even less to hold on to and more to wonder about. And it’s the wondering that, for me, makes this a favourite drawing. But for its abstract qualities it could have been created at any time and in many places; there are equally echoes of 19th century European landscape and ancient Chinese traditional ink drawings. It forms part of a body of similar work by Hutton – and  I’m keen to see where she goes to next on this journey.

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Sarah Jane Richards’ Picks:

Nutsa Gogaladze In the garden (2023), Soft pastels on paper, 18 x 17.7cm, above

I love looking at this drawing – I find layers of narrative that reveal things to me, creating potential stories and fanciful outcomes, it makes me curious and happy.  The beautiful, gentle haze of pastels evokes soft nostalgia and halcyon days that belie the possible impending drama.

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Tansy Lee Moir Cascade (2021), Charcoal on paper, 89 x 127cm, above

This drawing makes me catch my breath. It shifts and flows before my eyes, it refuses to stay still with apparitions of wood and bone, water and mist, human and nonhuman beings. When it swings back to charcoal on paper, the skill of the illusion delights me all over again.

As told to Mike Pinnington

The Drawing(Paper)Show 2023 opens Friday 21 July from 5pm @ Bridewell Studios and Gallery, Liverpool


Posted on 19/07/2023 by thedoublenegative