November 28, 2022

The Drawing Year 2022 End of Year Exhibition

Royal Drawing School

Leggy Gordon, Cacolac, 2022. Pencil and graphite powder, 42 x 57 cm. © Leggy Gordon. Courtesy of the Royal Drawing School.

Louise Reynolds, The Well-trodden Path, 2022. Watercolour pencils on paper, 61 x 75 cm. © Louise Reynolds. Courtesy of the Royal Drawing School.

Al Page, Compound, 2022. Graphite, ink, watercolour, acrylic and polymer varnish, on paper, 193 x 253 cm. © Al Page. Courtesy of the Royal Drawing School.

Alicja Biała, Onions Fields, 2022. Zinc plate etching on cotton paper, 27 x 27 cm. © Alicja Biała. Courtesy of the Royal Drawing School.

Rana Fadavi, Méditerranée, after Aristide Maillol, 2022. Oil pastel on paper, 42 x 59.5 cm. © Rana Fadavi. Courtesy of the Royal Drawing School.

As they emerged from two years of lockdowns, this years’ Drawing Year 2022 End of Year Exhibition, showcasing over 400 works from graduating students at our Shoreditch Gallery Studios, reflects an unprecedented year of turmoil—with political uncertainty across the world, a cost of living crisis and climate change. This historical year has been closely observed, experienced and recorded in the body of work the artists have produced. The pieces exhibited are politically charged, and deeply felt.

This exhibition features many fascinating, already well-established artists coming from backgrounds in fine art, illustration, architecture, set design, fashion, game art, music and printmaking. Al Page, previously Anselm Kiefer’s painting assistant, creates work concerned with protests, riots, masculinity and the dispersal of power in society. Iranian artist Rana Fadavi’s fashion experience at Issey Miyake and set design skills inform her current drawings. At a time where we all feel browbeaten by an endless barrage of news, Louise Reynolds and Alicja Biała offer us respite through their uncanny perspectives and riotous imaginings of current events and apocalyptic futures.

Other themes emerging from the graduates’ artworks include myth, history, storytelling and human interaction with place: both interior and exterior. Subjects range from celebratory crowds, memories fleetingly captured and anxieties reformed, to those that evoke a sense of serenity, long and intensely observed.

This is a selling exhibition; drawings and works on paper are an accessible way to start a collection and support emerging artists, with prices ranging from 100–2,500 GBP.

The School is an independent charity, and a commission from the sale of each artwork goes towards funding its scholarship programmes, so that high-quality drawing tuition continues to be available to all regardless of background or circumstance.

The Drawing Year: full scholarship, postgraduate programme
The Drawing Year offers 30 artists the opportunity to focus on drawing for a year, approaching drawing from observation both as an end in itself, and in relation to their existing practice and other media. There are no fees and each student receives a free studio space.

Alumni of The Drawing Year continue to successful careers as contemporary practising artists. Past students have won high profile awards such as the John Moores Painting Prize, BP Portrait Award prizes and the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Their work has been exhibition and collected by world-class galleries and museums such as the British Museum, Royal Academy and the National Gallery.

The Royal Drawing School
The aim of the Royal Drawing School is to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practise. It is one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition for those who wish to develop their observational drawing.

Alongside the postgraduate course is a Public Programme of daytime and evening courses for adults in drawing, painting and printmaking, taught by a faculty of artists, with heavily subsidised fees and a concessions scheme. Its programme of online courses reach students in over 22 countries, giving greater accessibility to those unable to visit the studios. This includes the Online Drawing Development Year, a year long programme taught at postgraduate level, to support students to develop their drawing and studio practice.

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