Club Cowra

Dobell Drawing Prize Exhibition Now Open

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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Jane Grealy, Maria’s Garden Scheme C, 2022, pastel on paper, 67 x 108 cm (unframed). Winner 23rd Dobell Drawing Prize 2023.

The Dobell Drawing Prize touring exhibition was officially opened last Thursday night at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery, and will be exhibited there until May 12.

It is Australia’s leading prize for drawing and unparalleled celebration of technique, innovation and expanded drawing practice. The biennial began 30 years ago at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1993 as the Dobell Prize for Drawing and is now presented by the National Art School in partnership with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation. The Dobell Drawing Prize #23 touring exhibition at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery showcases a selection of over 40 finalists’ work.

At its core the Dobell Drawing Prize has always posed the fundamental question: what is drawing? The answers are compelling, challenging, and exhilarating in an astonishing array of mediums and materials, from traditional pencil and graphite on paper to salt, staples and rust; from resin, fibreglass, enamel and wood to intricate three-dimensional wire objects.

The winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize, which this year was Jane Grealy, was awarded $30,000, and consequently her work became part of the National Art School Collection.

Guest Judge, Catherine O’Donnell said about the judges’ decision: “Jane’s work is beautifully executed, very skilful but also expanding drawing to a different level with her layering of architectural elements. It was a unanimous choice. We did look at lots of different works, the standard was very high so it was a tough decision, but we came back to this one. It’s about so many things, the balance between nature and the built environment, about time passing, the past, present and future…” Jane Grealy’s practise is inspired by her work as an architectural illustrator, using observations of both existing and imagined buildings, landscapes and spaces. She lives and works in Meanjin (Brisbane, QLD).

Exhibition Dates: 30 March to 12 May 2024 | Admission is free.

This exceptional touring exhibition is presented in partnership with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and National Art School, Sydney (NAS). The exhibition is toured by the NAS.

A special 144-page exhibition catalogue is also available to purchase from the Cowra Regional Art Gallery during the exhibition. The catalogue for the Dobell Drawing Prize #23 celebrates the 2023 iteration of the prize held at NAS Galleries. The publication includes forewords by Steven Alderton, National Art School Director and CEO and Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis, Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and an essay by Dr Maryanne Coutts, National Art School Head of Drawing. The 64 finalists have a spread each with an image of their work and accompanying artist statement.

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