Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize @ Cooper Gallery, Dundee

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize is the largest open call prize of its kind, and the 71 works in this year's exhibition represent the expansive possibilities of drawing as a medium

Feature by Cheryl McGregor | 30 Nov 2020
  • Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

The annual Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize has rolled around again, celebrating the diversity and continued relevancy of drawing in the creative practice. Featuring 71 works by 56 artists, this exhibition encompasses the vast capabilities of this ancient medium.

M. Lohrum’s You Are It begins the exhibition: a participation-performance drawing of circular charcoal loops, with boxes of charcoal at either end inviting participants to contribute to the dynamic image. This interactive opener, combined with the strong theme of portraiture throughout, highlights the current pandemic’s reiteration of the significance of human contact and company. Depictions of family, of lovers, of intimacy abound, such as Nancy Haslam-Chance’s from-memory sketches of her work as a care-giver which strikes a particular tone of human kindness, frailty and intimacy. 

Intimacy takes a different form in James Robert Morrison’s homoerotic portraits, displaying a unique technical mastery with his cigarette paper canvases. Anyone who's ever rolled a cigarette can testify to the tricky, sticky papers: controlling this inventive canvas to draw these amorous moments is a true feat. The detail of licking the papers and the busy mouths of the images combines sensually in these portraits.

There is naturally an abundance of grayscale work here, allowing Isobel Rock’s colourful fantasy worlds to stand out – kaleidoscopes of almost-infinite details (naked yogis float on clouds, cafes of ‘friendly gherkins’) leaving the viewer in a state of confused wonder. Other works are more architectural, investigative studies into temporality and light, such as Rae Fior Lowe’s Light Redirected – Ricochets Twice Along a Course, whose gilded details add a delicate touch.

From video works to sculpture, this exhibition surprises with its multitude of takes on the medium. With its careful curation, the ideas that emerge from these 56 individuals leaves a distinct (pencil) mark. 

Until 19 Dec, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, free entry, advance booking required – tickets here