Drawing Together, opening at Watts Contemporary Gallery on 18 March, presents work by current members of the Society of Graphic Fine Art to demonstrate the diversity of drawing today.
Recognised as the best artists in this field, the Society’s members work in a variety of styles and mediums, upholding the organisation’s founding commitment to show “pure draughtsmanship [as] an essential – if not the essential – factor of all true art.”
Over 90 works (total) by 30 of the Society’s artists have been selected for this exhibition, many new and on show for the first time. These include portraits in pastel by Svetlana Cameron; fabric collages by Anne Carpenter, described by the artist as “drawing with scissors”; intricate observations of sea creatures by Lucy Clayton; 3-dimensional paper sculpture by Jackie Devereux and Louisa Crispin; colourful semi-abstract block linocuts by Eric Gaskell; linear landscapes in Indian ink by Les Williams and flamboyant floral paintings and mixed media creations by Angela Williams and Christine Hopkins. All works are for sale.
During the exhibition, members of the Society of Graphic Fine Art will lead two Drawing Days and will mentor local students as part of a Season of Drawing at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, which also features: an exhibition in the Historic Galleries of exquisite Pre-Raphaelite drawings from the Ashmolean Museum, brought together with drawings by G F Watts (1817-1904), to reveal a new side to these artists who painted many of the most recognisable paintings in the history of British Art (Pre-Raphaelite Treasures: Drawings and Watercolours from the Ashmolean Museum, 8 March – 12 June). The exhibition is supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund; two artists’ residencies, Phoebe Boswell and Sarah Thien (1 April – 31 May) and artist-led workshops and History of Art courses exploring the theme of drawing.
Gwen Hughes, Watts Contemporary Gallery Programme Manager, said:
“Watts Contemporary exhibitions are an important part of Watts Gallery Trust’s commitment to showcase recent and current artistic practice and to support artists throughout their careers. These exhibitions create access to contemporary art for members of the public, help to fund our wide-reaching Art for All education programme and ensure that current artistic practice continues to thrive at Compton as envisaged by our founding artists.”
Alistair Burtenshaw, Brice Director and Chief Executive of Watts Gallery Trust, said:
“We are delighted to be holding a Season of Drawing at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, inspired by our co-founder G F Watts who produced thousands of drawings, either as studies for paintings or as works in their own right. Watts Gallery holds the largest collection of these – about 800 – which show the trajectory of his artistic development over eight decades, from the late 1820s up to his death in 1904.”
“The two exhibitions which are at the heart of this Season will illustrate what has developed in the arena of drawing, and what has stayed the same. The variety of media, styles and subjects in Drawing Together reflects a diversity that might have surprised G F Watts, but the experimentation and self-challenging of the artists would surely have struck a chord.”
Drawing Together: Members of the Society of Graphic Fine Art opens at Watts Contemporary Gallery on 18 March (until 2 May). All work is for sale, with prices from £50. For further information:
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Image: Felicity Flutter, Where Sea meets Sky, watercolour and graphite