Scaffolder turned UWE art student wins Jerwood Drawing Prize

Issue date: 27 September 2011

Student Kristian Fletcher from the University of the West of England has just won the Jerwood Visual Art's prestigious Student Drawing Prize.

Kristian, who is in the third year of his BA (Hons) degree in Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE, submitted a piece called Lake. He is one of 60 artists selected from over 3500 entries - the shortlist includes established artists as well as relative newcomers and students fresh from art school.

He said, “The inspiration for Lake came directly from a construction site situated near Bristol's regenerated harbourside. This area of the site seemed to have a strange feel to it which prompted me to revisit several times during the winter months. I took images back to the studio and broke down the raw elements of the composition which inspired the small written words – light, hope and fence - which went alongside the drawing. The media used were pencil, pen and graphite on paper.”

Kristian's interest in architecture, space and geometry was born from fourteen years of experience in the construction industry as a scaffolder. His change of career came about purely by chance. He continued, “I took a wrong turn while visiting a friend in Bristol and came upon an Open Day at UWE's Bower Ashton Campus. Looking around the work on display in the studios made me realise this is where I want to be. I went back to London and took an access course that enabled me to come to UWE.

“It was a privilege to be selected and to see my work hung alongside other work of such high calibre.”

Kristian wins £1000 in prize money as well as national recognition for his work, which will form part of an exhibition touring the UK. He has also been asked back to the Jerwood Space Gallery in London to take part in a press conference and artists' interview session.

The winners were chosen by a judging panel that included Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery; Tim Marlow, writer, broadcaster and Director of Exhibitions, White Cube, and artist Rachel Whiteread.

UWE programme leader Dawn Mason said, “This is a well deserved win for Kristian - he is very talented and the whole Drawing and Applied Arts team are delighted for him. His success follows on from our last student winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, Rox Goffin, in 2009.”


Back to top