Dobell Drawing Prize #23. Exhibition now open.

Apr 3, 2023 | Dobell Drawing Prize

‘Whether it be a scrawled map, a line in the sand, the scratch of a burnt stick across a cave wall or a digital record of the movement of a stylus, that simple evidence of an intentional touch is fundamental to what drawing is. This compulsion to leave a mark is a very human desire, and the profound and extensive potential of drawing emerges from it.’
Dr Maryanne Coutts, Head of Drawing, National Art School

The biennial Dobell Drawing Prize is Australia’s leading prize for drawing, an unparalleled celebration of technique, innovation and expanded drawing practices. The $30,000 acquisitive prize is presented by the National Art School in partnership with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and explores the enduring importance of drawing within contemporary art practice. The winning work will enter the National Art School’s significant collection, built over the past 120 years.

Congratulations to Jane Grealy who has won the 23rd Dobell Drawing prize with her work Maria’s Garden, Scheme C.

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. The work looks outstanding in the gallery, it’s very well deserved.”

The piece depicts Grealy’s neighbour Maria’s garden, whose philosophy is “waste not, want not”. Immigrating from war-torn Italy, Maria has worked and thrifted to cultivate her garden and supply her family with food and ensure nothing is wasted. This notion is reflected in the detail of the drawing, which is overlaid with a “wire frame” digital perspective line drawing to indicate present and future ways of living. With her suburb under pressure from new developments, homes and gardens are being rapidly demolished, Maria’s garden will one day be lost.

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).

More information and Exhibition Dates