A University of Northampton graduate is in the running for what is arguably the most prestigious and progressive open drawing competition in the UK.
Work produced by Laura Clarke when she was in the final year of her Painting and Drawing course at Northampton has earned her a nomination in the student category of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.
“To be completely honest, I don’t think the nomination has quite sunk in yet,” said Laura, who graduated in July with a First Class Honours degree.
“Never in my wildest dreams had I even considered being selected for such a prestigious exhibition.”
But her work has impressed the organisers of the prize, which sees shortlisted work exhibited at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, in September, followed by a national tour that will include galleries in Cheltenham, Bournemouth and then back to the capital in Shoreditch.
Titled The Unnoticed, Laura’s nominated work is taken from her final year project, which saw her draw incredibly lifelike representations of mundane items, such as a matchstick and elastic band, onto a series of paper and plastic bags. One of the bags is pictured below.
She said: “By painting the matchstick upon the paper inside the bag, it outlines the removal of the item from its commonplace environment and elevates the throwaway, disregarded and forgotten.
“More often than not, we find ourselves going about our daily routines and not noticing what is actually blindingly obvious. It is these things that we see every day but do not observe that I aim to bring to light once more.”
Looking back on her time at the University, Laura added: “The course allowed me to develop my artistic skills as well as build my confidence in a professional working environment.
“I also found I had the chance to build upon the academic aspects of art, with analytical essays and a dissertation I was able to develop upon the conceptual aspect of being a working artist.
“Overall, I developed as an artist and honed my skills at University, and was given many opportunities to showcase these to the public in exhibitions both on and off campus.”
Senior Lecturer in Drawing and New Media at the University, Stefan Gant, said: “This is an amazing achievement for Laura and the University of Northampton – the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize is arguably the most prestigious and progressive open drawing competition in the UK, championing excellence. Laura’s achievement is an inspiration to our students and confirms our dedication to this discipline.”
The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, formerly Jerwood Drawing Prize, is the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK. Selected from original drawings, the exhibition has established a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence, and to promoting and celebrating current drawing practice.