Monday, January 29, 2007


A Survey Exhibition of Contemporary British Drawing
Thursday 22 February – Friday 13 April 2007

Media Release
Monday, 29th January, 2007

Marking ten years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize (Britain’s distinguished annual open drawing exhibition), Drawing Breath provides a rare opportunity to view a collection of drawings from a range of artists currently working in the UK. This stimulating survey exhibition demonstrates the eclectic nature of subject matter, materials, composition, media and approaches that contemporary drawing practice embodies. The works on view reflect emphatically how the drawing medium offers an endless range of possibilities and a certain immediacy and intimacy.

The exhibition comprises 80 works selected from the Jerwood Drawing Prize from 1994-2006, including works by eminent artists such as Jason Brooks, Stephen Farthing RA, Dr Yvonne Crossley, Ken Currie, Adam Dant, Eileen Cooper, Tom Phillips RA as well as the best of emerging talent.

The National Art School runs a unique educational program in which drawing is a core subject in all years. The National Art School has partnered with the Wimbledon School of Art (now part of the University of the Arts, London) to present this anniversary exhibition. Both art Schools share synergies and emphasise drawing as a founding discipline in the study of visual arts.

“In the beginning there was drawing, and drawing is the basis for our civilisation and culture and for the young child drawing comes first. To paraphrase Picasso why is it that, we as adults hesitate whenwe are told to draw a chair but not when we speak it? The young child draws it without hesitation!” Bernard Ollis, Director NAS December 2006.

DRAWING BREATH is an important event on the National Art School Gallery’s 2007 international exhibition calendar and will open on Thursday 22 February and run until Friday 13 April 2007. The National Art School Gallery is the exclusive venue for DRAWING BREATH in Australia.

Accompanying the exhibition is a lively Public Program of lectures, floor talks and a symposium:

Exhibition Talk, 24 February 2007, 2pmIntroduction to the exhibition with Prof Anita Taylor and Paul Thomas, Co-Curators of Drawing Breath, free admission

Lecture, What Drawing May Be, 12 March 2007, 6pm Catherine de Zegher, Curator and Art Historian (former Executive Director of the Drawing Center, New York), free admission. Presented in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Symposium, 29 - 31 March 2007, 10am – 5pm
Bringing together artists, academics, industry professionals and the public to explore a range of issues concerning drawing in contemporary practice today. Bookings essential.

High School students will be encouraged to visit the exhibition and participate in the associated public programs.

Location: National Art School Gallery National Art School Forbes St Darlinghurst
Dates: Thursday 22 February – Friday 13 April 2007
Opening: 6:00pm Wednesday 21 February 2007
Times: 10:00am – 4:00pm (Closed Sundays & Public Holidays)
Phone: 02 9339 8744

Media Contact: Katie Dyer, Curator/Gallery Manager T: (02) 9339 8758

1. ABOUT THE NATIONAL ART SCHOOL: The National Art School is the longest continuing art school in Australia and has impressive alumni of acclaimed Australian artists including John Coburn AO, Fiona Hall, Colin Lanceley AO, Jeffrey Smart AO, Margaret Olley AC, AO, John Olsen AO, OBE, and J Martin Sharp.

Located in the historic sandstone surrounds of the old Darlinghurst Gaol, the National Art School offers Bachelor of Fine Art, BFA Honours, Master of Fine Art (Research) and short courses in the visual arts.The NAS Gallery is housed in the former A-Wing of the old gaol. Originally built between 1836-41, the building was refurbished and opened to the public in 2006.

The NAS Gallery encourages appreciation and critical perspectives of art and its role in society through direct engagement with artists and original works of art. NAS Gallery Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

2. PROFESSOR ANITA TAYLOR RWA Drawing is fundamental to Anita Taylor's practice as a painter. She has exhibited widely in Europe and Australia and is the Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, which she initiated as the Open Drawing Exhibition at Cheltenham in 1994. She was Artist-in-Residence at Durham Cathedral, Cheltenham Fellow in Painting and Artist-in Residence in Drawing at the National Art School Sydney. Awards include the Malvern Award for Drawing, the Hunting Art Prize, the Hunting Art Prizes Award for Drawing and the Major Award in the Cheltenham Open Drawing. She is Vice Principal andProfessor of Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art, a member of the AHRC Peer-Review College and sub-panel 63 for Art and Design in the RAE2008.

3. PAUL THOMAS RWA Paul Thomas is an Artist and Co-founder of the Jerwood Drawing Prize. His art practice is far-reaching, having exhibited in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. Paul has extensive experience in art education, most recently as the Head of Painting at the University of Gloucestershire. Paul is the author of artist’s books such as The Millennium Bestiary and The Iliad & The Odyssey, he co –authored the textbook Drawing (with Anita Taylor), and his drawings feature in academic textbooks published in the UK, France and USA.