Big Draw 2020 competition winners
Over October half-term we ran two competitions as part of The Big Draw – one of them was inspired by Valerie Irwin’s charcoal drawings of change on the Ipswich waterfront, and the other by Richenda Cunningham’s drawings of Lowestoft in the 1840s. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to enter – we were really impressed with the artistic talent we are surrounded with in Suffolk.
Valerie Irwin very kindly agreed to judge the competition, and shares the winners with us here. Valerie says:
‘I, Valerie Irwin was invited to judge the competition which has been a great honour. There was a wonderful selection of drawings to enjoy as I looked through the entries. So much application and thought had gone into all the submissions and I was taken on a journey of many individual stories through the drawings. Some drawings were close to the brief and others were very personalised, speaking of current change in their lives ,homes, and surrounding environment. All were a delight to behold, some made me laugh others were very sad and there was much feeling of movement in the images. I congratulate all entrants on their drawings and thank them for spending the time being involved.
It was a difficult task to select a winner for each category as there were so many drawings that excited and inspired me. Some that were closely adhering to the brief, while others were a little obscure. It took a lot of looking and reading what each person had written themselves about their work to see how their drawing was about the relationship between people and our living environment and how we live today. Some were poignantly moving.’
Winner, 5-7 years: James Knight, age 7
Valerie says: ‘I liked your drawing with all the feeling of business and movement, sometimes a little chaotic, both with the diggers and the men. I was drawn into the detail of your close observation of the digger cabs, bricks, and the activity of the men taking down and building up the building even painting it. There was a rhythm running across the page from one little scene to another which held the drawing together as a whole. It looks as though you enjoyed making this drawing. Well Done.’
Winner, 8-11 years: Oskar Howe, age 9
Valerie says: ‘Your drawing with the strong and deliberate mark making caught my eye as I first looked at the drawings that had been sent in for the competition. It was good to hear that the renovation of the house was yours so you had on going observation of the changes going on which I expect will cause changes in how you use the house. I like the way you have used the charcoal with different pressures so you have both light and dark drawn marks all very strong. The repeated triangle shapes which appear right across the drawing not only keeps the drawing together as a whole but gives it a lively feel, a feeling of space and light. I think it is terrific.’
Winner, 12-18 years: Lily Dobell, age 13
Valerie says: ‘This is a beautiful coloured drawing full of peace and calm. A place near your home where you could walk everyday of the Lockdown; but for the changes that COVID-19 brought us you may never have had the chance to do this walk so much. It feels as though you became very familiar with the airfield and conveyed this in your drawing. The mark making of the coloured path and grass gives a sense of how free and open the space was with the distant wind turbine and tree leading the eye upward to the intense colours in the sky which is showing signs of the closing the day. I love this drawing.’
Winner, over 18s: Simon Denny
Valerie says: ‘It is hard to believe that anyone could make a decision to develop the area behind this beautiful gate, which had been attended to and cared for, growing produce for 50 years. A tranquil area in the Oulton area, near Lowestoft, with the view stretching out into the distance, a white house nestled into the line of trees facing the wattle gate.
The varied mark making which covers both the lights and the darks of the water, the land behind and either side of the gate are delicately applied. The gate with the horse shoe, a wedding present to Simon’s nanny, makes up most of the picture; It is the important element here of the story of change in our environment over the years; a very delicate and sensitive drawing. Thank you Simon’
NessFest winner: Zac Garrod, age 11
Valerie says: ‘The arch of the path in front of the colourful beach huts stretching right across the surface of the drawing is echoed by the small arch of the sea at the right hand corner of your drawings as well as the trees behind the beach huts depicted with arching green shapes, is very satisfactory. These arching shapes are holding all the details of things going on in the sky and on the beach. I love the detail of the kite flying, the person by the wind break and the dome tent. The yellow helicopter, the drone, the shape of the three birds almost echoed by the edges of the white clouds, the blue lines being the edge of the white clouds. The distant orange crane and wind turbine. The drawing is calm despite all the activity as it is being held by the strong arches. It is a cheerful drawing and I can see that you like going to the beach in Lowestoft being your nearest one.’