The Walkabout Drawing Prize 2019

The Walkabout Drawing Prize 2019

Tanglin Trust School was proud to present the Walkabout Drawing Prize 2019. Following from the success of last year's competition founded by Tanglin's Art Department, this year's event was expanded to involve students from GESS, Dulwich College Singapore and Marlborough College Malaysia.

Whether they study fine art or just enjoy doodling in their spare time, all Senior students were able to enter an original drawing made within the last 6 months. The competition aimed to firstly examine, challenge and open-up a dialogue concerning definitions and perceptions of the question 'what is a drawing?', and secondly to excite, reward and showcase students' talents and creative minds.

Students were able to use a variety of materials, including pencils, charcoal, pastels, pens, chalk and digital drawing.

A panel of judges, including Dr Joe Graham of Falmouth University, looked for exciting and unusual forms of drawing. They used the following criteria to mark the pieces:

  • Observing and translating from life
  • Creative use of media and materials
  • Original ideas and thinking
  • Ambition and drive

A mixture of highly skilled accurate drawings and brave experimental drawings were submitted. Over 300 Tanglin entries were showcased at Café Vive with a celebration lunchtime event where students also performed live music.

Shortlisted entries were then exhibited over four days at the spectacular REDSEA Gallery for the public to view. On Thursday, 14 February a special celebration evening was held with cash prizes being awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for each age group: 11-14 years, 15-16 years and 17-19 years.

We are delighted to announce that three Tanglin students achieved top places:

  • Zarghona, Year 12 achieved 1st place in the 17-19 Category
  • Elaine, Year 9 achieved 1st place in the 11-14 Category
  • Thinn, Year 13 achieved 2nd place in the 17-19 Category

On their first-place positions, Elaine and Zarghona said:

"When I heard about the Walkabout Drawing prize, I was unsure if I should participate. However, my friends, who knew I had a passion for drawing, encouraged me to enter. Looking back, I am glad that I decided to because I won for my age group! I was in shock and disbelief when I saw the "1st" next to my drawing. I was so happy. It felt as though all the effort and time I put into the final piece was recognised." Elaine

"When I entered the drawing prize, I honestly didn't expect any outcome. I just wanted to hand in a piece I had been working hard on in school because I thought 'Why not, there's nothing to lose'. Being chosen among the top five already felt like a dream but not long after as my family and I entered the exhibition next to my work I was greeted by the words "1st place". I even went to my art teacher and pleaded to him if he had made a mistake! As I looked around and took in all the drawings that were exhibited I was amazed by the talent that was gushing out from each one as well as the vast range of techniques used. Every piece had its own hidden meaning and portrayal of aspects of life so I couldn't imagine the idea of ranking them. When I was given the prize award Dr Joe Graham helped make it clearer why my piece had managed to speak to him so well. The absolute simplicity of techniques building a pathway of form worked very well to record precious ideas as well as capturing the viewers' attention, making them want to come back time and time again to have another look and another go at deciphering the hidden language of the piece." Zarghona

Following from the competition, Year 10 and 12 students have continued to celebrate and embrace the journey of drawing with visiting artist Ian Murphy.

Ian held workshops aimed at challenging students to think more widely about what a drawing is. He shared how he draws and encouraged students to experiment with various techniques, including shading, erasing, direction and pressure to create different tones and texture, with each stage of drawing being incrementally more difficult.

On the Walkabout Drawing Prize, Ian said: "I think it's a brilliant concept. Students should take real pride in having their work exhibited and I believe this type of competition gives young artists great confidence in their work."

Thank you to the TTS Foundation for supporting the Walkabout Drawing Prize exhibition and for funding Ian Murphy's workshops with our students.