Gary Lawrence: Drawing obsessive, Drawing Projects UK, Trowbridge

Anita Taylor (Curator), Gary Lawrence (Artist)

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


    Exhibition Venue: Drawing Projects UK, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
    Exhibition Dates: 13th August - 29th October 2022

    Taylor curated the exhibition, Gary Lawrence: Drawing Obsessive, presented at Drawing Projects UK from 13 August to 29 October 2022. The exhibition includes several large drawings and, as the first solo exhibition of Gary Lawrence’s work since 2013, provides a unique opportunity to see a series of his distinctive drawings together.

    The drawings featured in the exhibition all focus on the experience of travel. Over recent years, images and holiday snapshots from Greece have provided Gary Lawrence’s main inspiration and form a starting point for his drawings that transpose these initial references to travel, experience, and memory. While the drawings clearly reference photographic sources, other references from medieval painting, news media, postcards, fridge magnets, popular culture, and personal experiences, are woven into these complex, multi-layered drawings. References to artists from all periods find their way into this work, with images from 1280 just as exciting and useful to the artist as something found on TV or YouTube in 2022.

    As someone who likes the stationery section in Tesco and Poundland as much as art stores, Gary Lawrence has long used Biro to make these drawings. An admirer of Henry Moore’s Biro sheep drawings, the medium here transforms the surface of the paper through the pressure and obsession of the mark-making, rendering a tapestry-like surface, and experience. These drawings are made over a long period of time and have diaristic references to key dates and events that happened during their making that inform the subject and content. Notes, commentary, and references appear across the surfaces of the dense Biro drawings, apparently as written prompts for the artist, and remaining for us as viewers as axis points to the artist’s thoughts and experiences while drawing. The earliest drawing shown in the exhibition is Alternative Bananas, completed in February 2017, and made during the period of the EU referendum. The later drawings are made in pencil on paper, and have a silvery light-filled quality, and a reflective nostalgia for the memory of Greece. The artist’s intention is always to have the work seen, as in his view “it is only then complete and doing what it is meant to do, when someone else sees it”.

    Drawing Projects UK also produced a short film of Gary Lawrence in his studio earlier in 2022, in association with the presentation of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2021 exhibition, supported by Arts Council England. It is currently available on the Drawing Projects UK YouTube channel.

    Gary Lawrence's drawings have been featured in the Jerwood/Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibitions on multiple occasions and, uniquely, he has the distinction of receiving several awards for different drawings from different panels of expert selectors since 2011 (including: First Prize in 2021 (selectors Sheila Gowda, Simon Groom, Zoé Whitely); 2011 (selectors Iwona Blazwick, Tim Marlow, Rachel Whiteread); First Prize in 2017 (selected by David Dibosa, Helen Legg, Michael Simpson); Second Prize in 2018 (selected by Nigel Hall, Megan Piper, Chris Stephens); and a Special Commendation in 2013 (selectors Kate Brindley, Michael Craig-Martin, Charlotte Mullins).
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationTrowbridge
    PublisherDrawing Projects UK
    Media of outputOther
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2022
    EventGary Lawrence: Drawing Obsessive - Drawing Projects UK, Trowbridge, United Kingdom
    Duration: 13 Aug 202229 Oct 2022


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