News and the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award
The Evelyn Williams Trust extends warm congratulations to Barbara Walker MBE RA on her timely and richly deserved nomination for the Turner Prize 2023.
Barbara Walker was the inaugural recipient of the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award in 2017. The award funded a period of studio research and work which led to the initial iteration of her continued series entitled Vanishing Point first shown at Hastings Contemporary. In intervening years she has shown with Cristea Roberts Gallery and has been a Bridget Riley Fellow in the British School in Rome. She was elected an RA in 2023 and her nomination for the Turner Prize was for her exhibition at the Sharjah Biennial 15 entitled Burden of Proof. The Turner prize nominees all come to the fore because of the panel’s survey of artists making significant impact through recent exhibitions. Barbara’s contribution to the Sharjah Biennial thematic, given shape by the late Okwui Enwezor of “Thinking Historically in the Present”, prompted her nomination. Her works in the Biennial focussed on individuals from the Windrush generations. The Turner Prize jury was impressed with Walker’s use of “portraits of monumental scale to tell stories of a similarly monumental nature, while maintaining a profound tenderness and intimacy”.
Alex Farquharson Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize panel said: “Part of her practice involves drawing directly on walls, and those drawings that literally take time, immense skill, [are] washed off at the end, in a practice that reflects … how people can be marginalised on account of their identity and injustice.” ( see Barbara Walker | Visual Artist | Media For a film recorded at Cristea Roberts Gallery.)
Her work and that of fellow nominees - artists Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim - will be exhibited at the Towner Eastbourne from 28 September 2023 to 14 January 2024 with the announcement of the winner of the Turner Prize on 5 December 2023.
Evelyn Williams Trustee, David Alston commented on Barbara Walker’s recent concentration on portraiture of individuals of the Windrush Generations “If anybody thinks this is woke agit prop, sort of playing politics…read the lines in these faces ,the testimony of these documents , the wear and tear there, the need for scale and the interrogation of dignity… this work didn’t come through for Walker in the last six months, or even five years ago, it’s been, sadly and angrily, “lifetimes” in the making.”
Cloud falls in love with Mortal
Artist Penny McCarthy was presented with the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award at the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition in 2019. Penny was selected from a group of 45 artists who having been chosen to show their work in the 2019 exhibition, were also invited to submit proposals for the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award. The Evelyn Williams Trust works with Drawing Projects UK and Hastings Contemporary to help an artist realise an exhibition following a period of research and studio time facilitated by the £10,000 biennial award. Penny McCarthy proposed an exhibition with its starting point based on popular press reports of the phenomenon of a Fata Morgana in the sky above the sea off Hastings Beach.
The resultant exhibition Cloud falls in love with mortal is on show at Hastings Contemporary 8 October 2022 - 12 March 2023.
The artist writes of the sequence of her works:
“Pencil drawing is used with an exacting and concentrated slowness that is a kind of reverie or extended contemplation. The work was made during the pandemic when navigating lockdowns instead of the originally planned visits to Hastings and opened a speculative and metaphorical exploration of myths and narratives associated with the sea and sky. The suite of drawings is very much a reflection of an interior world conjured out of paper, clouds, water, dust and light. There is a material frugality to the project that comes, at least in part, from being made over this turbulent time.”
Fata Morgana 2
graphite pencil on paper
33 x 48 cms
Hastings Contemporary Director Liz Gilmore commented “Two of our gallery rooms will be transformed by this exquisitely beautiful immersive exhibition by artist Penny McCarthy. The show, with an accompanying film and practical resources, is an inspiring and special celebration of the possibilities of drawing. Penny’s ability to take our visitors into an imaginative space between dreams and reality can be enjoyed by both adults and children.”
The artist offers further commentary on her work:
“While each drawing began with the idea of a mirage, in many ways the works extend and overreach that project; they can and should be considered on their own terms. Watching drifting clouds of particulate matter spiralling above the sea or contemplating the dust on the screen of a laptop proposed different stories and threads that come together and interact, even as each drawing on its own feels singular. Other works are embedded in the lived realities of the interplay between a life and an art project; a drawing of a cat in the studio, a re-working of a rough sketch of a statue seen in Rome years ago telling of a Greek myth, a drawing of the sea from memory, a re-imagined episode from Star Trek about a shape-shifting cloud. Each work attempts to make the familiar unfamiliar — to de-familiarise things so as to register their strange particularity. The aim was to consider drawing as a refractive process to re-orientate our gaze and encourage different thought positions that involve closeness or responsiveness, proposing, for example, that a cloud might return our gaze or that the sea might be seen as sentient.”
My battery is running low and it’s getting dark
graphite pencil on paper
33 x 48 cms
For more on the artist see her website here.
The photographer and film maker Hugo Glendinning who has known the artist’s work for many years proved the ideal collaborator to explore key motifs from the drawing series, linking ideas, contexts and studio methods through clouds of graphite pencil dust and speculative discussion.
Announcement of the 2021 winner of the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award at the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition
Known as the most prestigious annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2021 received 3,300 entries from 1,673 artists living in 46 countries for the exhibition and awards.
114 works by 99 drawing practitioners were selected by the panel members for the 2021 exhibition: Sheela Gowda, artist, Dr Simon Groom, Director of Modern & Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland. Dr Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery, London.
45 of the artists selected for the exhibition submitted project proposals for the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award. The £10,000 Biennial Award is in its third edition. Previous recipients were Barbara Walker ( 2017) and Penny McCarthy (2019).
The Evelyn Williams Drawing Award is presented to an artist with already a significant track record, with a view to them creating a solo exhibition of new work in the future programme of Hastings Contemporary.
The 2021 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award was awarded to Roland Hicks.Double Chip/Shuffle Zip 2001
Coloured pencil and acrylic gouache on paper cut out 37x28cms Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition 2021
Roland Hicks describes his work as belonging “somewhere between the traditions of still-life painting, Arte Povera, Neo-Dada assemblage, and various types of geometric abstraction.”
The award was selected by David Alston from the Evelyn Williams Trust, Liz Gilmore, Director of Hastings Contemporary, and Anita Taylor, founding Director of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize and Drawing Projects UK and Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
Roland Hicks (b.1967 Aldershot, UK) studied BA Fine Art at Winchester School of Art, 1987-90, MFA Fine Art at Slade School of Art, 1994-96.
Selected group exhibitions include: Gradation curated by Paul Carey-Kent at Patrick Heide Gallery, London (2019); Sticky Business at Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam (2018); Humble As Hell ( which he also curated) at the Kurt Schwitters Merzbarn, Elterwater (2017).
Selected solo exhibitions include: OSB - Of Spaces Between at Mrs Rick's Cupboard, Primary, Nottingham, (2017); The Gathering Things at Eleven Fine Art, London, (2013); Roland Hicks/Give Me Every Little Thing at Oriel Davies, Newtown, then touring to Ffotogallery Cardiff (2008).
Previous prize exhibitions include: Contemporary British Painting Prize (2018); Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015, London & UK tour (2015); John Moores 25, Liverpool (2008). He lives and works in London in the UK.
Evelyn Williams Trust - Some Background:
Evelyn Williams (1929-2012) was a figurative artist whose intense and quietly authoritative paintings, sculptures, reliefs and drawings were produced over a period of seven decades. In 1993, she and her husband created a modestly endowed trust dedicated to promoting the cause of drawing, particularly in art schools. Drawing was largely out of favour at the time and the seven substantial art school fellowships that were funded by the Evelyn Williams Trust over the following eight years did much to re-appraise attitudes towards the practice. The Trust now has responsibility for the artist’s estate of extant works and her desired legacy of support to artists. To this end, the Trust is collaborating with the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, Drawing Projects UK, and Hastings Contemporary to offer a biennial award to an artist creating the opportunity for them to make new work and show a resultant exhibition or equivalent presentation within the programme at Hastings Contemporary. The first Evelyn Williams Drawing Award was awarded to Barbara Walker in 2017 in association with the then Jerwood Drawing Prize, with the solo exhibition Vanishing Point being shown at Jerwood Gallery in Hastings in 2018/19. The 2019 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award winner in what is now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition, was Penny McCarthy, whose exhibition will take place at Hastings Contemporary in November 2022.
Evelyn Williams Drawing Award 2021
The Evelyn Williams Trust is again collaborating with the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, Drawing Projects UK, and Hastings Contemporary to offer an award of £10,000 to an exhibiting artist creating the opportunity for them to make new work deriving from their drawing practice and show a resultant exhibition within the future programme at Hastings Contemporary.
The first biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award was offered to Barbara Walker MBE in 2017 in association with the then Jerwood Drawing Prize, with the solo exhibition Vanishing Point being shown at Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. The 2019 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award winner was Penny McCarthy. Her exhibition will take place at Hastings Contemporary in late 2022.
Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize attracted over 3000 entries for the 2021 Prize Exhibition. The Exhibition of 101 works will show the work of 90 artists. Submissions were received from 46 countries. 45 artists submitted proposals for the Evelyn Williams Drawing prize. These proposals will be looked at by a panel consisting of David Alston MBE, an Evelyn Williams Trust member, Liz Gilmore, Director of Hastings Contemporary and Anita Taylor, the Director of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize and Drawing Projects UK. The Evelyn Williams Drawing Award will be announced as part of the opening of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition 2021 on 29th September.
Intimate Whispers an exhibition at Anima Mundi St Ives
Anima Mundi’s Director Joseph Clarke has curated a selection of works by Evelyn Williams for Anima Mundi - a handsome gallery converted from the former Christian Science reading rooms in St Ives, Cornwall.
The exhibition titled Intimate Whispers was to run formally from 21st February to 31st March 2020, but has been extended online until 1st June.
In the words of Clarke: “Intimate Whispers offers a selection of uniquely honest paintings, dealing with the intimate connection and profound solitude of existence, taking the viewer on a profound journey from womb to tomb.”
The gallery has been temporarily closed conforming with Government guidelines in a time of lock down due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Joseph Clarke noted in his message to the public:
“We wish you and your loved ones continued health and wellbeing in these challenging times, and make a plea to valiant attempts to increasing the quality of human connection in these times of enforced separation...”
The Evelyn Williams Trust echoes Anima Mundi’s wishes. On its website, the gallery has some affecting views of the displayed work and has produced a superb on-line catalogue of the exhibition.
Evelyn Williams’s work speaks powerfully of isolation and the desire for connection, singularly now to the fore. Our thanks and appreciation from the Trust to Joseph Clarke and Anima Mundi for what he could not have known to be such a timely exhibition.
A link to the exhibition can be found here: Evelyn Williams Intimate Whispers
Men at Sea by Evelyn Williams is included in Anima Mundi’s current online show ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
The 2019 Evelyn Williams Drawing AwardThe Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019 was announced on the 25th September and the exhibition has started its tour at Salisbury Museum. The prize announcements culminated with the awarding of the 2019 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award to artist Penny McCarthy and the renewal of the partnership between Drawing Projects UK, Hastings Contemporary, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition and the Evelyn Williams Trust. Penny McCarthy in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize with her two works DNA in Nature Pencil on paper 50 x70cms and Photo 51 Pencil and paint on paper 20x50cms
Penny was selected from a group of 45 artists who having been chosen to exhibit were invited to submit proposals for holding the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award. The selection Panel was Anita Taylor , Director, Drawing Projects UK , Kim Kish deputizing for Liz Gilmore, from Hastings Contemporary, and David Alston Trustee, Evelyn Williams Trust.
Penny was born in 1960 in the USA but has studied and made her career in the UK with a strong association with Sheffield where she both trained as an artist and is now Reader in Fine Art and Course Leader, Postgraduate Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. She works primarily with drawing and text. Penny began her career as a Henry Moore Fellow in Drawing. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts: in museums and galleries, at conferences, and as live projects and publications. Her work has been supported in the past by the Henry Moore Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her recent projects have been shown in Ulysse(s): L’autre mer, at the FRAC, Rennes, France, Nothing is Forever, South London Gallery, and Material Truths at Site Gallery, Sheffield in 2017.
The Evelyn Williams Drawing Award offers her a period of research and studio work towards a solo exhibition at Hastings Contemporary to be scheduled in 2020-21.
“The exhibition I propose to develop focuses on my interest in the duality that exists between image, reality, representation and presentation, and the unstable fluctuation between them. The project would specifically address the challenge of drawing by hand and how this is understood in the context of the information age.”
She succeeds Barbara Walker the first recipient of the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award, whose exhibition Vanishing Point was shown last year at Hastings Contemporary.Barbara Walker and Penny McCarthy together in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition 2019.
Barbara Walker was awarded the first Evelyn Williams Drawing Award in 2017. Her exhibition Vanishing Point was shown at the Jerwood Gallery (now Hastings Contemporary) October 19th- January 6th 2019 Works from the series were subsequently shown in the Armory Show in New York in 2019 in an exhibition mounted by Alan Cristea Gallery and a single work was invited for showing in the Royal Academy Summer exhibition 2019