Scots well represented in two major drawing competitions

The shortlists for two major drawing competitions have just been announced, and Scottish artists are well represented. Wendy Kirkup and Nicola Carberry, who both live and work in Glasgow, and Kevin Smith, who is based in Dundee, have all been shortlisted for the Derwent Art Prize 2016, a prestigious international drawing competition with a first prize of £6,000 and a second prize of £3,500.

Nathan Anthony, video, Black Friday. Picture: Contributed
Nathan Anthony, video, Black Friday. Picture: Contributed

Their work, and that of the other shortlisted artists, will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London from 19-24 September.

Meanwhile, Nathan Anthony and Deborah Boyd Whyte have been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, a competition designed to showcase the breadth of contemporary drawing practice in the UK, which has an £8,000 first prize and a £5,000 second prize. Shortlisted work will be on display at the Jerwood Space in London from 14 September until 23 October.

The winners of the Jerwood Drawing Prize will be announced on 13 September, and the winners of the DerwentArt Prize will be announced on 19 September. For more information, see and

Kevin Smith 's Mother Widow Wife Spinster. Picture: Contributed

The Derwent Art Prize

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Dundee in 2012, and his work has been exhibited widely in the UK and the US and selected for the RSA Open exhibitions of 2013, 2015 and 2016. “I am fascinated by found photographs,” he says. At first, they might be dismissed as general or “stock”. In the time I spend with them though, the more questions this tension between the particular and the universal opens up.

A woman in late-middle age, formally posed, becomes both a shadow of many women I’ve known and an unknowable figure with a past and future of her own. Through this her existence grows large, transcending the fragile form of the photograph.”

Nicola Carberry - basket chair, conte, pencil. Picture: Contributed

Nicola Carberry

Although she works in a variety of media, from film and black and white photography to stone carving, sculpture, and installation, Glasgow-based Nicola Carberry says that drawing is fundamental to her practice.

“My work takes place in the life room working directly from the model,” she says. “The drawings are completed in a day but are usually the result of numerous sessions and layers, emphasising the passage of time and a sense of memory. Figures are glimpsed in the background like half remembered recollections, entering into dialogue with more recent incarnations.”

Wendy Kirkup

Kevin Smith 's Mother Widow Wife Spinster. Picture: Contributed

Based in Glasgow, Wendy Kirkup’s work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, ZKM in Germany and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Spain.

Her drawings are labour-intensive, produced through a process of retracing the surfaces and details of found photographed images, with the fine point of a pencil, to create a new document.

“While the images deal with time and duration, they are essentially ‘still’”, she says. “Condensed onto a single surface are the different temporalities of the making and re-making of the image in terms of their historical, cultural contexts and mediated through material and technological ‘bodies’, including my own.”

The Jerwood Drawing Prize

Nicola Carberry - basket chair, conte, pencil. Picture: Contributed

Nathan Anthony

Nathan Anthony studied at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh between 2009 and 2014, and since graduating he has had his work exhibited in the RSA’s New Contemporaries show and the Fleming Collection’s New Scottish Artists exhibition, both in 2015.

His entry to the Jerwood Drawing prize is a video of a till receipt roll rapidly unspooling, but still fits under the Jerwood’s broad definition of what constitutes “drawing”. “Using a hairdryer, I applied heat along the entirety of the unravelled paper spool’s thermally sensitive surface,” he explains, “coaxing out a variety of dark abstract marks in the process.

After rolling it back into a tight reel, I filmed it unwinding naturally under gravity. From a fixed camera angle each layer of paper that is shed quickly reveals a new frame. Like a flip book or zoetrope, the falling roll soon begins to animate itself and flicker with Rorschach-like imagery.”

Deborah Boyd Whyte

After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a Philosophy degree in 1970, Deborah Boyd White became an apprentice goldsmith in West Berlin in 1976 and then worked as a jeweler before turning to art in 2010. Her work featured in the RSA Open exhibition in 2013 and 2014 and she has had solo shows in Los Angeles and Washington DC. “Drawn Thread 15 is located between the woven thread and the drawn line,” she says, “with a sense of weaving on a scale comparable to a loom. Each drawn line is individual yet affects all the others. Through this physical process the fabric materializes following the abstract system by which each thread is captured. There is no teleology; no idea at the outset of where the lines will go or how the finished drawing will look. Finality is not the goal.”