The Drawing Year 2015-16 End of Year Exhibition

Jan. 25, 2017

The Drawing Year 2015-16 End of Year Exhibition showcases work by students on the School’s postgraduate programme. This year's exhibition was greeted by enthusiasm and acclaim from curators, collectors, friends and family alike. 


The exhibition displays 300 drawings by 28 emerging artists, featuring a variety of media including pencil, marker pen, ink, watercolour, woodcuts, and etching. As the culmination of the School’s intensive postgraduate programme for 2015-16, it celebrates the range and scope of drawing from observation in contemporary practice.


Exhibiting artists originate from the UK, Germany, and China, with previous education and experience in fine art, illustration, printmaking, architecture and design.

Works on display include Edinburgh College of Art graduate Liam Walker’s cinematic pencil drawings such as Alec on Ilkley Moor; and Sam Little’s architectural watercolour and pencil cityscapes, which earned him the ADAM Architecture Travel Scholarship; alongside meditative interiors and landscapes such as Pollyanna’s Johnson’s Be Still. 


Drawings by Pollyanna Johnson

Dealers and auction houses often cite drawings as a good way to start an art collection if you are collecting on a lower budget, and this year we saw a noticeable increase in public interest. All the works are for sale, and a small commission goes towards funding the School’s scholarship and bursaries programmes so that high quality drawing tuition is available to all regardless of background or circumstance.

At the opening of the exhibition, Former Director of Visual Arts at the British Council and current Trustee Andrea Rose introduced the prizes, with a speech about the importance of drawing and the place of the Royal Drawing School in British arts culture: “Art is the fundamental relationship of you as individuals the world around you, and what could be more fundamental than drawing? This School is about helping students find their voice – just look at the fantastic array of work around: it’s funny, it’s profound, it’s inventive, it's dreamy, it's haunting, it's colourful, it's brave.”

Holly Froy was awarded the annual Sir Denis Mahon Award, which enables an outgoing Drawing Year student to continue their practice as an artist, and as part of this award they are also offered a solo exhibition. The Jack Goldhill Charitable Trust, which has supported the School’s hardship fund in previous years awarded the Jack Goldhill Drawing Prize to Liam Walker. The Chairman’s Prize was awarded to Oona Leganovic, and the Trustees Prize to Iona Roberts; while Pollyanna Johnson received the Machin Foundation Prize, and Emma Ing was awarded the Paragon Press Printing Prize.


Liam Walker accepts the Jack Goldhill Drawing Prize

The show received warm reviews from some of the most eminent art world figures, including Duncan Robinson, art historian.

‘’It really is a good show’, writes Duncan Robinson, ‘Plenty of variety in contrast and style – from expressive figurative compositions to meticulously detailed architecture. More colour too than some years and lots of imagination – several of the artists have really let themselves go, unselfconsciously.’’


The Drawing Year End of Year Exhibition 2015-16

Exhibition runs Friday 2 December - Tuesday 17 January 2017, Open Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm (Closed 24 December to 2 January)