After much confusion of a last minute spontaneous college trip, My class, along with animation students ended up visiting the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle last Thursday, 30th of January. Our tutors thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some influence for future pieces of artwork. The exhibition that we went to see were entries for the Jerwood Drawing Prize of 2013 consisting of various pieces of art designed using a range of artistic mediums, most of which were created with Graphites, charcoals and pencils. These pieces really impressed me with the amount of detail used, however there were other pieces that left me questioning why I am in college in the first place, and not in a good way.

What do I mean by this?

Look up contemporary art and you’ll get an idea. I have never been a fan of this style nor will I ever be, I like my art to show hours of dedication to the tiniest detail, not a splodge on a canvas, or a film that showed no purpose or message. To me the arguement of “yes you could of done it, but you didn’t” is invalid, as artists they should be making me say “Wow I couldn’t do that” not “Meh, my dog can do better”. In this gallery I’m talking about ‘artists’ like ‘Marie von Heyl’ and her ‘Interior (Utopia)’ film and ‘Neville Gabie’ and his ‘Experiments in Black and White VII’. After watching whatever it was and finding out that these two ‘artists’ were given upto £5,000 in prize money, I became annoyed and left a rather blunt comment in the comments section of the gallery saying “What the heck am I looking at? Are you kidding me?” and signed it. In my opinion contemporary art is not art, its just a mess. What annoyed me more was that most of these contemporary artists were the winners for this competition!

Marie von Heyl - Interior (Utopia)

Marie von Heyl – Interior (Utopia)

Gabie Neville's Experiments in Black and White VII

Gabie Neville’s Experiments in Black and White VII

But I suppose I’m being to harsh on the rest of the Exibition, after all there were a couple of good artist that left me in awe when looking at there work. Possibly the best example would be Jordan L Rodgers IPad drawing called Virtual Derive. I could of watched this video for hours. I was amazed at how well he was drawing this fantastic environment with just sketchy lines on his IPad. I would recommend viewing this film art to anyone, and I would love to one day be able to match this talent. Here is a link to the video:-

Jordan L Rodgers - Virtual Derive

Jordan L Rodgers – Virtual Derive

Another artist that impressed me was Justina Taylor and her “Soldier” piece

Justina and her Soldier entry piece

Justina and her Soldier entry piece

When I looked close up to this piece I was astonished at how well she used charcoal to create her tones and shading so well that it left a great impression on what was fabric and what wasn’t (not sure if I worded that right, but just have a closer look at the gun and that might help you get a better idea on what I am trying to say). I love how she tried to visualise a more realistic image into the minds of a soldier, who are stereotypically portrayed as being emotionless and strong.  Surely this master piece would of been better suited to the £5,000 cash prize than Marie von Heyl at least? At least Justina shows true talent in the details.

Both Justina Taylor and Jordan L Rodgers were the best sources of inspiration from this gallery for me and I recommend their works to any artist, including contemporary ones. I also urge other artists to please remember that art is not about what others didn’t do, its about showing the world what they might not be able to do.


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