Centre for Recent Drawing

2010 Jerwood Drawing Prize Winner Virginia Verran’s new solo exhibition features a broad spectrum of work, including her distinctive marker-on-canvas roundel works, as well as paintings that rely heavily on her drawing discoveries.

A double series of circular drawings are the focal point. Created on old sections of MDF, these multifaceted works act as a linchpin for the exhibition. Situated on opposite walls in C4RD’s main space, there is an immediate sense of conversation between the works. Dense areas of graphite are balanced by other sections of intricate, delicate mark making. Your eye is pulled left, right and centre attempting to decipher the symbols and coding.

Experiencing Verran’s work is both mentally and physically affecting. I was intrigued to learn of a recent injury to the artist’s shoulder which forced her to complete some sections of the work with her (in theory) weaker hand. Whilst in the space felt my own weight and balance shift – a powerful experience that left me feeling slightly unnerved.

The strength of Verran’s drawing is its ability to prompt memory. The array of images, signs and symbols she utilises are incredibly emotive due to their slight ambiguity. Her inspiration is obviously personal but the dialogue evolves and is open ended. Essentially, Verran asks the viewer to decode their own lives and histories. She takes you on a journey of self reflection that is incredibly eluminating.

Drawing at its most contemplative and a must see exhibition. I am looking forward to what Verran does next.