Warren Andrews discusses winning the student prize, the importance of education and his future plans.
Warren Andrews is currently completing his final year of a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London. Prior to winning the student prize in the 2010 Jerwood Drawing Prize, Warren exhibited in the group show 'Panic Wagon' at Fold Gallery. He has also delivered drawing workshops as part of the Big Draw, and taken part in panel discussions on drawing at the Jerwood Space.
How does it feel to be one of the student winners of the 2010 Jerwood Drawing Prize?
It's a fantastic feeling. I am over the moon to win such a prestigious prize in such a prestigious gallery. It is very exciting to show not solely in London but also in other gallery spaces up and down the UK.
You worked as an intern during the selection process. How did you find this experience?
Working on the prize was a great experience. I feel like I have a learnt a great deal from the process, getting to know the ins and outs of how judges approach the submitted works. Hopefully I can take what I have learnt and use it in my work. The piece I submitted deals with how the spectator accesses art (the spectacle) and to see first hand the judges looking at my work with fresh eyes was very interesting. Unfortunately I could not make out what they were saying, as we were not allowed in the judging room.
Did the internship alter your approach to professional practice?
Not really. For me it was an opportunity to earn some money. I have not entered any competitions/prizes before the Jerwood, and am extremely pleased that the prize gave me the nudge to do so. If anything, it has made me realise how important submitting work to prizes is for the majority of artists. Exposure and financial opportunities are hard to come by for most artists.
What will you spend the £1000 prize money on?
I have not really thought about it yet. I imagine I will put some of the money towards my degree show, which I will be having at the beginning of next summer. The rest will help me get through this year. I have never won or earned such a large amount in one go, so I'm not going to rush into committing it to anything yet.
What are your plans post-graduation?
I would like to continue to have the opportunity to practice. I work in a range of formats including painting, film, sculptural and the written word so it's a balancing act. I have reservations about selling the art I produce, which poses problems. I imagine I will study for an MA, although I doubt I will embark on it next year.
The prize has its roots in academia. Do you think this impacts on the high quality of submissions?
I feel that it is clearly one of the main reasons for the strength of the submissions and the subsequent shows.
Your prize-winning piece explores form and line. Can you explain this a little further?
The work is called David M. Hutchinson Drawing Device No. 436. It uses form and line, and motifs from earlier paintings of mine to create a dialogue around how the spectator interacts with a 2-dimensional and a 3-dimensional space. Normally, painting and drawing takes place on a 2D plane. The artist (producer) then uses devices like perspective, form and line to create a 'false' 3D space. In my work I enjoy creating these spaces, and then deny them with additional devices to remind the spectator of what they are viewing. I suppose this is an attempt to remove the mystery or 'romance', devaluing my own creations/position. The object in the show attempts to draw you in, with a seductive form and conscious colour decisions, and then interrupt the space with the use of line, which alters the perspective.
Jack Hutchinson, Warren Andrews
Jack Hutchinson is an artist, writer and educator. A specialist on the role of digital technology within the visual arts, he is Communications Officer for AIR: Artists Interaction and Representation through a-n The Artists Information Company. His writing has featured in a diverse range of publications, including Dazed and Confused, Garageland, Guardian Culture Professionals, Twin Magazine, a-n Magazine and Schweizer Kunst. Based in London at Bow Arts Trust, he is an active campaigner for artistic, legislative and economic measures that enhance artists' working lives and professional status. His drawings have featured in solo and group exhibitions across the UK.
First published: a-n.co.uk December 2010
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